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All you have to do is search for a “white dress” on Google and you’ll understand why the company is focused on building shopping ad experiences that drive discovery. The results are a mix of granny chic and call girl casual. If I can be completely honest, I never use Google search for shopping, but that may change.
The company is launching a platform called Shop the Look, featuring apparel and home decor images from popular fashion bloggers and other influencers. Instead of your standard ads with models posing in an outfit, you’ll see popular bloggers fully styled from head to toe, and you can buy everything they are wearing. It’s sort of like Instagram meets Google search.
The web giant has partnered with Polyvore and LiketoKnow.it to source content since both networks are photo based social platforms with a focus on helping bloggers make money. The ad platform will allow the search giant to capture some of the mobile traffic they are losing to social networking apps like Instagram. By aligning with mobile app companies, Google is also able to capture mobile user that are more likely to shop on apps.
Shop the Look will work much like google image search, and the only difference is the images that pop up when you search something like “little black dress” or in my case “white dress” will feature items posted by popular bloggers with a link to purchase. You will then be able to shop those specific items or similar products from the web. The feature is part of the company’s advertising program and, like its other ads, retailers will be charged on a “pay-per-click basis, and impressions will be reported within existing shopping campaigns.” In the future, the platform will likely serve similar content directly from retailers. And if I’m lucky, next summer when I search for a white dress I’ll find something that I can actually wear.
Chantel McGee is a journalist and social entrepreneur. She is also the founder of Society Co., a nonprofit idea lab and community. She covers breaking technology news for CNBC.