Geek chic: Google launches Boutiques.com
Google uses search, visual recognition in new fashion e-commerce site
Computerworld - Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google is making a grab for a bigger presence in the e-commerce arena.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled Boutiques.com, a Web site designed to give users a personalized shopping experience, complete with human curators, visual recognition technology and machine learning. The move thrusts Google into the online fashion industry, along with eBay and Amazon.com.
"It lets you find and discover fashion goods by creating your own curated boutique or through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers -- celebrities, stylists, designers and fashion bloggers," wrote Munjal Shah, a Google product management director, in a blog post. "These days, bloggers, stylists and everyday fashionistas are expressing their sense of style online. We invited them to create boutiques so people could shop their diverse styles. But you have a unique and independent style too, so Boutiques also lets you build your own personalized boutique and get recommendations of products that match your taste."
The site is set up to let users filter their searches by size, silhouette, patterns and colors. Google also is offering what it's calling "inspirational photos." If a user searches for brown boots, photos will pop up on the right showing brown boots with matching outfits.
For users trying to figure out what to pair with a particular top or pair of pants, Google turned to people in the fashion industry to first give Google hundreds of style rules, such as not mixing stripes with patterns. Then the company turned to its developers to design computer programs that use those fashion rules to suggest matching items to users.
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group Research, said that Google is smart to get into e-commerce, especially before the holiday shopping season, but he noted that this idea is still a bit out there, even for Google.
"I mean, it's never a surprise when Google gets into something new," he said. "But it seems a bit off from their traditional business. You can say it seems like out of left field for Google, but their left field has become much bigger than others."
Boutiques.com is currently available only in the U.S. and only for women's fashion. Google noted that it intends to expand but didn't provide a time frame.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about E-business in Computerworld's E-business Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- EDI in China: Developing a Strategy for B2B Integration Success IBM solutions for EDI have helped companies across the globe securely connect and build partner communities.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Polycom Virtual Meeting Rooms Video The conference room is the hub for group collaboration. With Polycom, you can extend the productivity and efficiency benefits of face-to-face meetings beyond...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All E-business White Papers | Webcasts