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07/27/2021

Macy’s increases online conversions with Google-quality search

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Macy’s is leveraging the new managed Google Cloud Retail Search solution to reduce “search abandonment.” 

The department store retailer utilizes Google Cloud Retail Search, a purpose-built industry solution designed to provide retailers with the ability to provide Google-quality search on their own e-commerce sites. The customizable solution is built on Google’s understanding of user intent and context.

According to Macy's, it experienced a reduction in search abandonment and an increase in conversion rates after implementing Retail Search on its digital properties.

"Understanding our customers' needs and being able to deliver results seamlessly is critical to providing an enjoyable shopping experience," said Jilberto Soto, director of product management, search at Macy's. "After a successful pilot which showed improved click-through rates and revenue per visit, we are excited to partner more closely with Google Cloud to continue to provide the experience our customers expect."

Specifically, Google Cloud Retail Search is designed to help convert purchase intent across retailers' own websites and mobile apps by understanding consumer intent and mapping it to product inventory. Retailers can provide search experiences including auto-complete, personalized results, and relevant promotions. Machine-learning-based search results are intended to improve with every query. Customers control their own data and Google does not use it to improve ads targeting.

According to research conducted by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Google Cloud, consumers have a low tolerance for bad search results on retail websites. Harris Poll data indicates search abandonment costs retailers more than $300 billion a year in the U.S. alone. And nine in 10 U.S.-based managers surveyed are concerned about the cost of search abandonment to their company. 

In addition, Harris Poll data shows 94% of surveyed consumers globally received irrelevant results while searching on a retailer's website in the last six months, and 85% say they view a brand differently after experiencing search difficulties. On the other side of the search equation, more than half of surveyed global consumers (53%) say they often end up purchasing additional items once they find what they are looking for on a website. 

"Providing quality search results is an industry-wide challenge," said Srikanth Belwadi, group product manager at Google Cloud. "While traditional search platforms are keyword-based, Google's semantic understanding of query intent enables retailers to dramatically improve experiences for customers with learning-based search. Retail Search helps get shoppers what they want faster, leading to higher conversion rates and happier consumers."

Retail Search is a fully managed service as a part of Google Cloud’s Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a suite of solutions intended to help retailers enhance their e-commerce capabilities and deliver personalized consumer experiences. Google Cloud's unified Retail API allows developers to implement and integrate with other Product Discovery Solutions, such as Recommendations AI and Vision Product Search.