Google wants to help stores sync up with their consumers through a new Shopping Insights tool that puts more data about shopper habits at the retailer’s fingertips.
“While 87 percent of shopping research happens online, 92 percent of goods are still sold in retail stores,” noted Jonathan Alferness, vice president, product management at Google Shopping in a blog post on the service now in beta testing. “By better understanding users’ shopping intent online, retailers can make more informed local merchandising and marketing decisions for their stores.”
The Shopping Insights tool estimates popularity and trends for products by aggregating keyword data from the millions of consumer searches and breaks it down by city.
“Shopping Insights lets retailers analyze product interest by city and [gives them] time to understand local demand,” Alferness said.
By way of example, he pointed to data suggesting what the most popular Halloween costumes would be in two college towns: Berkeley, Calif., and Madison, Wis.
“In Berkeley, for example, ‘Star Wars’ costumes are nearly three times more popular than ‘Minions’ costumes, but in Madison, ‘Minions’ costumes are three times more popular than ‘Star Wars,’” he said.
The Shopping Insights tool is available in the U.S. and looks at searches on more than 5,000 products between April 2014 and last month.
The new effort at consumer analysis is in keeping with what Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt told WWD at Tory Burch’s runway show last month.
Schmidt said artificial intelligence could soon be able to help brands predict what trends the cool kids would latch onto.