Google Cloud wants to help small businesses take on Amazon

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Google Cloud is looking to even the playing field when it comes to online discovery for small businesses with the launch of a new SEO (opens in new tab) service.

The company's cloud computing (opens in new tab) arm has launched a collection of product discovery services and tools for all retailers looking to boost their online presence.

The move could prove to be a significant challenge to the likes of e-commerce (opens in new tab) giants such as Amazon, which has typically dominated search results for all kinds of products due to its size and reach.

Retail Search and more

Google Cloud says that the launch should help to cut down on the practice of "search abandonment", where shoppers give up searching for a certain product online due to the amount of results.

"We've built a suite of solutions to help retailers and brands enhance their ecommerce capabilities and deliver personalized consumer experiences across channels," the company wrote (opens in new tab).

"Retailers now have the ability to provide Google-quality search and recommendations on their own digital properties, helping to increase conversions and reduce search abandonment."

The new offerings include a new Recommendations AI which Google Cloud says can deliver highly personalized product recommendations at scale across channels. The system combines nuances behind customer behavior, context, and SKUs in order to drive engagement across channels through relevant recommendations.

Also on offer is Vision Product Search, which uses ML-powered object recognition and lookup to provide real-time results of similar, or complementary, items from your product catalog. Google Cloud says this can help shoppers easily search for products with an image on their mobile device, widening the potential reach for smaller businesses.

Lastly, there's Retail Search itself, which offers "Google-quality" search capabilities built on the company's own knowledge, but that can be customized to your business' specific needs.

Google Cloud says it is already working with the likes of IKEA, Cartier and Macy's to implement the tools, which are available to retailers now.


Analysis: poking the bear?

At first glance, it seems like a noble move from Google to share its expertise and knowledge with smaller retailers looking to challenge the big players online.

However given Amazon's dominance, could this be a dangerous move and potentially lead to a falling out between two of the world's largest tech giants?

With Google struggling to win consumers, lawmakers and organisations around to its vision of a cookie-less internet, moves such as this are bound to raise eyebrows.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.