Tapping the power of Google’s new retail tools

With more and more people commencing their retail experience online, Google has added a suite of new tools, including an ‘in-stock filter’, to its search experience.

Announced on September 29, the tools are each designed to make the digital shopping experience easier for the consumer. In the process, they allow retailers to further tap into the online retail trend.

Here’s an insight into the new Google additions and how retailers can use them to best effect…

google in stock filter for retail
November 01, 2021

The ‘In stock filter’

Statistics currently indicate 81 percent of consumers begin their shopping experience online, perusing products, comparing prices, and seeking reviews.

And according to KPMG, one of the biggest deciding factors that converts a potential customer to a committed shopper is whether the item is available and in stock instore.

In their recent report, ‘The truth about online consumers”, they note 33 percent of people rank the ability to see that an item is in stock as the most important company attribute when deciding where to buy.

Now Google has stepped in with a nifty search tool to accommodate that trend.

google in stock filter for retail

The new ‘in stock filter’ allows shoppers to search a product, find it locally, and instantly see if it’s in stock and available.

Unveiling the feature last month, Google noted the filter would be valuable to consumers and businesses alike.

“Before heading out the door, you can find local stores that carry the products you want right from Search,” they explained.

“And starting today, when you are looking for products like ‘kids bike helmet’ or even a specific brand, you can select the ‘in stock’ filter to see only the nearby stores that have it on their shelves.

“Showing in-store availability is especially valuable for small businesses, helping them attract new local customers.”


An improved shopping feed

Google has also doubled down on its mobile shopping experience, introducing a visual feed of items, suggestions and local stores when consumers search for a specific type of product.

Stating the feed makes it easier to browse for clothing, shoes and accessories on mobile, the search engine giant explained when shoppers search for a product such as ‘cropped jackets’, a visual feed of jackets in various colours and styles, alongside other helpful information like local shops, style guides and videos would be provided.

“From there, you can easily filter your search by style, department, brand and more – and when you find something you like, you can check out ratings, reviews and even compare prices to get the best deal,” they said.

google in stock filter for retail

The new experience is powered by Google’s Shopping Graph, which is a comprehensive, real-time dataset of products, inventory, and merchants with more than 24 billion listings.

“This not only helps us connect shoppers with the right products for them, it also helps millions of merchants and brands get discovered on Google every day,” Google said.


Google Lens

Ever seen a product you just loved online but weren’t quite sure where to find it? Google is seeking to address this pain point with a new feature they call Google Lens.

“Whether it’s an image that you see online, a photo you saved on your phone, or something in the real world that catches your eye, Google Lens makes the products you see instantly shoppable,” Google explained.

The feature will initially roll out on iOS as a new button in the Google app that makes all the images on a page searchable. It will also soon be available on Google Chrome for desktop.


How retailers can use Google’s new tools to best effect

Google’s suite of new search tools are all designed to make the online discovery phase of the retail experience easier. But they also bridge the gap between online retail and bricks and mortar, allowing consumers to discover products and then find them locally in-store.

google in stock filter for retail

For retailers seeking to harness this power, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Mobile-first – Many of these tools support Google’s push for mobile-first websites. Retailers should ensure their sites are not just optimised for mobile but provide a true mobile-first experience.You can read the top tips on how to do that here.


  • It’s all about the omnichannel – Google’s new features rely on the retailer providing a seamless omnichannel experience.
    That means equal attention should be paid to both the online representation of physical retail and e-commerce.For example, a retailer’s website should be accurate and up-to-date, with information about location readily accessible, along with product stock levels.Meanwhile, there should also be the option to purchase the item instantly online via a frictionless check-out process.
  • Inventory management is critical – Harnessing the power of Google’s new tools and particularly the in-stock filter means retailers need to ensure their inventory is up-to-date in real-time, with results relayed to their website.This is where tools like RFID inventory counting that can assist.You can read more about managing inventory here.