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Google steps up retail cloud competition with AWS, Microsoft

A technology titan is bringing a new suite of product discovery solutions to its clash for retail cloud supremacy.

Google Cloud is officially launching Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a suite of solutions designed to enable retailers to implement seamless search and recommendation capabilities for enhancing consumer engagement and improving conversions across their digital properties. 

Google initially released Google Cloud for Retail in April 2019 to directly challenge Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Retail cloud platform. Since that time, Microsoft has also bolstered the retail value of its Azure cloud service with the release of new Dynamics 365 digital commerce solutions in September 2019. 
In collaboration with leading global retailers and leveraging Google’s semantic understanding of online search and user intent, Google Cloud’s Product Discovery Solutions for Retail suite brings together AI algorithms with the scalable infrastructure of Google Cloud. Specific solutions include: 

•    Recommendations AI, which enables retailers to deliver personalized product recommendations at scale and across all channels. The solution is able to piece together the history of a customer’s shopping journey and serve them with customized product recommendations. Recommendations AI uses Google Cloud’s latest machine-learning architectures, so retailers can dynamically adapt to real-time user behavior and changes, accounting for variables like assortment and pricing. Recommendations AI is generally available. 

•    Vision API Product Search, which allows retailers to adapt to how today’s consumers are finding product inspiration and discovery, including retailer-specific websites and social media platforms. Vision API Product Search enables shoppers to search for products with an image and receive a ranked list of visually and semantically similar items. Vision Product Search uses ML-powered object recognition and lookup to provide real-time results of similar, or complementary, items from retailers’ product catalog. Google Cloud Vision API Product Search also generally available.

•    Google Cloud Search for Retail, available in private preview, pulls from Google’s understanding of user intent and context to provide retailers with product search functionality that can be embedded into their websites and mobile applications. Google’s search capabilities provide intuitive search functionalities that are configurable to meet the specific needs of each retail organization. 

“As the shift to online continues, smarter and more personalized shopping experiences will be even more critical for retailers to rise above their competition,” said Carrie Tharp, VP of retail and consumer at Google Cloud. “Retailers are in dire need of agile operating models powered by cloud infrastructure and technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to meet today’s industry demands. We’re proud to partner with retailers around the world, and bring forward our Product Discovery offerings to help them succeed.”

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