Let’s face it, any time you shop online — whether it’s furniture, clothing, or gifts — you decide if you like it when it arrives at your door.
Returning some items can be difficult, which means you will spend your time or tap into your personal finances to send them back.
Google thinks that artificial intelligence can help solve this problem, at least for some purchases. The company has recently launched several new AI shopping features in its search function that will make shopping easier. Here are some reasons why it’s a must-try for savvy shoppers this year.
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1. You don’t need to learn anything new
Apps often have a learning curve to them. But one of the benefits of Google integrating AI into its shopping results is that you don’t have to do anything different. Just search as you normally would.
All you have to do is opt-in to use Google’s AI. When I open the Google Search app on my iPhone, there is a small beaker in the upper left corner. I tapped on it and then selected the option to allow Google’s search generative experience (SGE).
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2. Google’s AI can summarize reviews
One of the first things you’ll notice about Google’s AI shopping feature is the automatic summary of products.
I wanted to replace some furniture on our front porch, so I typed “outdoor furniture” into Google’s app, and as I scrolled down, Google showed me results from Ikea, Amazon, Walmart, and others, complete with AI descriptions. of outdoor furniture products.
Some of the AI generated descriptions are even summarized reviews of the products, which is very helpful. For example, Google’s AI that reviewed the Ikea table and chairs told me that the chairs were sturdy, easy to assemble, and well made.
3. You can describe exactly what you want
One of the coolest features of Google’s AI shopping tool is that you can describe exactly what you want to buy and then let Google’s AI create images of what you have in mind.
For example, I typed “men’s blue cardigan sweater” and tapped the “generate images” button. Within seconds, Google generated images of the sweater I would choose. I clicked on the one I wanted, and found sweaters that matched the AI image I selected. This feature comes in handy if you have a unique style you’re looking for and can’t quite find what you’re looking for while browsing.
4. You can (like) try on clothes virtually
I put this part last because, although helpful, I think it needs a lot of work. This feature allows you to choose from 40 models, each with different sizes and lengths, that best suit your body type.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a sweatshirt and you see the one you want. Some results will show a “try-on” button that you can tap, and then you can choose the model that best suits your body type to see how it looks.
While helpful, it may not be as useful as it could be. The feature is limited to certain brands and clothing. Choosing a model that is relatively close to your height and size may not give you a good idea of whether the item fits you.
Google released these advanced shopping features recently, so we’re still at the beginning of how AI will impact online shopping. Other companies are also moving quickly into this space, with Amazon recently releasing a chatbot in its app that answers questions about products.
In the meantime, while AI is just a whisper while we shop and cannot completely replace it for us, be sure to do your due diligence and compare prices. Using coupon apps and browser extensions that automatically compile prices from various sources across the internet can help ensure you’re getting a fair price on the items you’re looking for.
Considering the US e-commerce industry is estimated to be a $1.5 trillion market by 2028, you can be sure that many companies will be launching more AI tools soon to continue improving the online shopping experience.
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