Google today updated its search engine on smartphones and tablets to show new product details. The company says it wants to help shoppers make purchase decisions on the go with its new expandable product cards right on Google.com.
In addition to more detailed information about products, you can now see a list of stores from which you can buy them, as well as product reviews from customers. You can now also rotate selected products 360 degrees to get a better look. Last but not least, Google is also now offering local inventory ads on tablets, letting advertisers promote their local products across more devices:
These new mobile features fall under the Google Shopping umbrella, a Google service meant to help consumers find products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors. You may have heard of it under one of its former names: Google Product Search, Google Products, and Froogle (a pun on the term “frugal”).
Yet Google is offering these new additions directly in its main Google search page (notice the “Web” tab is selected):
As you can see above with the Nexus 10 example query, search results show the image of the product along with merchants who carry it. Product information will adjust based on the item (in this case, we’re told the brand, operating system, cellular connectivity, screen size, weight, and screen resolution).
The reviews should probably be taken with a grain of salt since this is a feature that requires critical mass. Since Google Shopping isn’t anywhere near as popular as competitors like Amazon, there just aren’t that many reviews (notice the Nexus 10 has just seven in the GIF above; we decided to check if maybe this was an outdated capture and found that it now has nine).
The 360-degree feature is already available on desktop browsers but it’s great to see it on smartphones and tablets as well. Here it is in action:
The timing for this update should be no surprise. Black Friday is increasingly becoming a holiday shopping day that doesn’t require relocating your butt into an actual store. Google is likely looking to test these new mobile additions this week as many retailers stretch Black Friday into a full week. It’s also making sure they’re ready a month ahead of Christmas.
In fact, Google said it is seeing a 3.5X increase in shopping searches coming from smartphones year-on-year. Furthermore, the company claims it is already sending more mobile traffic to retailers per week from Google Shopping than it did during the peak of last holiday season. It’s safe to say that online shopping records will be broken this year, once again.