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by Stephen Logan on 21st June 2010
Google release a 2.0 version of Commerce, the cloud hosted on-site product search system.
Offering website owners the opportunity to enjoy fast and efficient search throughout their site, Google Commerce was the ideal cloud solution for anybody looking for a professional hosted ecommerce solution. As reported back in November though, this did come at a hefty price – $50,000 per year to be exact [see: Google Introduce Commerce Search for E-tailers].
Last week’s announcement of a Google Commerce 2.0 provides an opportunity for existing users to get more from the service and should do plenty to entice new custom too. But why exactly would you want to spend so much on an ecommerce package?
For most, even the reduced $25,000 price tag will be prohibitive. However, for those looking to create an ecommerce store, or indeed have one currently that isn’t performing, it provides a tempting proposition.
Hosted in the Google cloud, your site will be free from slow loading pages. All the information is stored externally and imported as required. Helped by the Google search system, which is understandably fast and intuitive, your site should be more fluid than ever before.
One of the major changes is the inclusion of auto-complete. Just as with searches on Google.co.uk, it can anticipate what you are looking for and provide you with a list of options – thus eliminating the need to type the whole search query. Handy and, once again, very time effective.
As the site owner, you will also have the opportunity to order your products into the categories you choose. So every item can be assigned a brand, category, sub-category and promotion. This allows you to quickly change and update information as new products arrive and old ones are removed.
The customisable interface will help most ecommerce sites to speed their development processes. Special offers are given set timeframes and prices are automatically adjusted to suit changes.
Ultimately though this is a natural progression from the original Google Commerce. Providing greater efficiency, improved search options and a lower entry price, it certainly reaches out to more online business; however, what are the real benefits?
There are plenty of companies who offer Ecommerce hosting. An e-tailer can easily approach anybody with a CMS system custom designed to populate with products and host an ecommerce site, so why Google?
Their main selling point is undoubtedly search. To have a Google-powered search system within your site and have results return in under a second would be hugely beneficial to your visitors. With accuracy of returned results and ease of navigation both high on any consumer’s requirements, you could easily see sales increase.
The main issue will always be whether it is really worth the money. If your turnover isn’t in the six figure bracket each year then it just isn’t viable. Aspirations are one thing, but ultimately an internal Google architecture and search system isn’t actually going to bring in more customers. Unless of course sites are given a boost for using Google’s search, but that would be a little unethical, wouldn’t it?
If you think that Google Commerce 2.0 might suit your site then visit the Official Google Blog which has a short write up on the new features.