Fashion and @Google are not 2 words I associate… until now. via @WSJTech

Only in the U.S. and only for women – for now. Human curators and visual recognition to provide recommendations…. I’ll be interested to see how well it works.

Amplify’d from

Google Jumps Into Fashion E-Commerce

Aiming to become the first stop for online shoppers of apparel and accessories, Google Inc. launched a fashion e-commerce site, which uses human curators, visual recognition and machine learning technology to recommend items to shoppers.

The move thrusts the Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant into the rapidly growing online fashion market, an area in which Inc. and eBay Inc. are stepping up their offerings. It’s a lucrative market, with the online apparel and accessories industry hitting $19 billion in the U.S. in 2009, according to comScore Inc., and growing fast.

For Google’s first fashion foray, the search company has created, which features curated boutiques by tastemakers and bloggers. One of the hurdles the site faces is how to engineer for taste, WSJ’s Elva Ramirez reports. doesn’t sell the items, which come from hundreds of online merchants such as Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden and Juicy Couture, but directs shoppers to sites where they can be purchased. Other sites such as and, also are attempting to make shopping and browsing for apparel more fun.

Munjal Shah, a Google product manager, said the company worked with about 100 fashion taste-makers such as celebrities, stylists, and designers to pick out clothing they like and teach Google’s machine-learning algorithms about their style and tastes. Those partners include Oscar de la Renta and retailer Scoop NYC.

Google is developing ways to direct users of the company’s Web-search engine to when they search for fashion items, Mr. Shah said. The company already has a standalone product-search service that specializes in “hard” goods such as electronics and draws traffic from the main search engine. The product-search site has grown rapidly over the past couple of years, comScore data show, but still lags behind Amazon and eBay in terms of the number of searches it handles.

Shoppers of will be able to browse for items a particular expert has selected, such as shoulder dresses or high-heeled shoes, as well as any other goods that Google’s algorithms thinks are similar in some way. Shoppers can also build their own personalized boutique and get recommendations of products that match their tastes. is similar to, the visual search site founded by Mr. Shah for shoppers of apparel and other soft goods. Google acquired the site in August for about $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter. currently has the same business model used by, where merchants pay if shoppers end up purchasing the goods on other sites, or sometimes pay a small cost for each time a shopper clicked on their merchandise to learn more. Mr. Shah said the model could change.

Scot Wingo, Chief Executive of ChannelAdvisor Corp., which helps merchants sell goods on Amazon and eBay, said is a solid first attempt by Google and one that leverages its core strength in search.

“Amazon is becoming so popular in e-commerce that people are going there to start some of their searches,” he said. “This is Google waking up to that threat.” is only available in the U.S. and only for women’s fashion, but is expected to expand in the future, Google said.

Write to Amir Efrati at and Scott Morrison at



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About Christine Perkett

I've spent my career coaching CEOs, CMOs, and COOs on how to best market and grow their companies, how to inspire and motivate their workforces, and how to manage in good times and in bad. I'm a serial entrepreneur who has founded three companies. I've received numerous accolades and awards including being named a “Top 100 Must Follow Marketing Mind” in Forbes, a 2020 Top 50 Social Media Influencer in Planable, a “Boston 50 on Fire” finalist, a “Top CEO to follow on Twitter,” a “Top 50 Social Media Influencer on Twitter” by Vocus (now Cision), and one of the 250 Most Influential Women Leaders by Richtopia since 2015. I've been featured in numerous outlets for my expertise including Associated Press, ABC, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many more. I am also an adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing and Media at Northeastern University in Boston. I champion women in business and enjoy helping others make their dreams come true. Personally, I 'm a mom to four who loves dogs, the ocean, fashion, marathons, wine, humor and kindness.

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