Google Shopping is sending out some early gifts to beat the holiday rush. To help you spend your money more easily, the technology giant has unveiled new tools for shopping.


Google Shopping is the newish (as of May) name of the company’s service formerly known as Froogle or Product Search. Unlike those previous incarnations, which provided product listings for free, the new Google Shopping requires retailers to bid for placement in the search results.

Shortlists, Discounts

HTML5-supporting browsers are now able to view selected products in 360-degree photos. A “3D” swivel icon on the product’s photo indicates that such as view is possible, and the first category of products to be awarded such extra-dimensional assistance are, appropriately, toys.

As a demonstration of this viewing ability, Google has assembled a Holiday Toy Collection showcase, allowing kids of all ages to check out all sides of a Hot Wheels RC Terrain Twister Vehicle, for example. Viewing in 360-degrees is also being rolled out to other product categories.

Instead of emailing URLs of gift possibilities you like or would like to get for someone, Google now offers Shortlists for creating comparative product lists, found through Google Shopping or elsewhere on the Web. Users can save, and line up in comparative columns, product photos, prices and specs. The Shortlist can be annotated with a column of comments from your Google+ social circle, and be shared with others.

Discounts or promotions are also now shown on products viewed through Google Shopping, linked to the e-Commerce site to take advantage of the offer. When you’re logged in to Google+, you can also see if a product being searched has been reviewed by someone in your social circle, and you have the option of writing a review that will be shared.

View Similar Items

For those who hate buying something and then soon finding out a similar product was available cheaper or better or whatever, Google now provides the ability to View Similar Items. For instance, searching for a “black men’s coat” and then selecting the Michael Kors Neoprene Peacoat Men’s Coat presents that item at screen top, as well as dozens of similar products on the screen below. The company said this feature is now available for jewelry, coats and handbags, with more product categories coming.

If you have qualms about doing business with an unknown online retailer, Google is now offering its Trusted Stores logo to identify online stores that Google has certified as providing a great customer experience. There is no charge for stores to obtain this badge, and Google offers free purchase protection for products you buy from these retailers.

And, for those shopping on Android mobile devices, there’s the newly launched Google Shopper 3.0 app, with a larger search box, larger product photos, weekly circulars of deals at online and nearby bricks-and-mortar stores, and a GoodGuide for rating if a product is healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. 

Image courtesy of Anneka (Shutterstock)