Google Shopping Insights: New Supply Chain Management Tool for Retailers

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Google recently launched a new tool to help retailers better understand what consumers want and where they want it. Google’s Shopping Insights specifically shows what products consumers are searching for online in what cities, at what time and on what sort of device.

Online shopping is definitely increasing, but most products are still bought in a physical store. According to Google, 87% of shopping research is done online, yet 92% of products are still bought in an actual retail store. By giving retailers more insight into what consumers are looking for online, Google has provided a tool allowing retailers to respond to local demands better, stocking inventories at local stores.

For instance, if a large number of people in Chicago are currently searching for Thanksgiving decorations online, retailers in the Chicagoland area can take that as a hint. It’s like giving retailers an early warning or extra insight as to what inventory levels should be at brick-and-mortar stores for certain products to respond to local consumer demands.

Such a tool is coming at an opportune time. Prior to October, businesses were experiencing high levels of inventories. It wasn’t hugely concerning, but the fact that businesses were working to decrease those inventory levels in October was one reason attributed to the lackluster GDP growth last month. It is also the holiday season, a key time for retailers. Using a tool like Google’s Shopping Insights can definitely prove useful at this time of year.

The Insights tool is also user-friendly. And not just retailers can access it — anyone can go to the site and type in a search term. Typing in “winter coats,” for instance, showed consumers in the Northeast are those mostly searching for the product online. (This isn’t surprising, considering the time of year and the fact areas have already seen snow showers.) Chicagoans are also searching for this item online, according to the tool. Again, not surprising since winters in Chicago (Spend Matters’ home) are absolutely dreadful, and residents know to stock up to stay warm.

Source: Google Shopping Insights

Source: Google Shopping Insights

Google also does plug its AdWords service in its announcement of Shopping Insights, letting retailers know they can use this search tool to better target their Adwords campaign. AdWords is Google’s advertising platform where businesses pay for certain keywords to link to clickable ads when a Google search is done online. Regardless, this Insights tool does appear useful for retailers and businesses looking to gain extra insight on consumers’ potential shopping behaviors. It’s one more tool to add to the box to help retailers remain competitive in the market.

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