Google’s latest unveiling will revolutionise Google search. But what does Project Magi mean for ecommerce?
Since its founding in 1998, Google has become synonymous with search. Although the technology of Google search has often seen changes, the user experience has always been the same. You simply put your query in the search bar and click on the result you find most favourable. All that is set to change with Project Magi.
- What is Google Project Magi?
- What do we know about the project so far?
- How will Project Magic affect ecommerce?
- When does Project Magi launch?
What is Project Magi?
Project Magi is the name of the internal project that will become the new Google search engine. It is part of a raft of new features including Google Merchant Center Next and YouTube Shorts Ads, and is poised to replace the current Google search model. This is a huge deal as Google is the number 1 search engine in the world administering over 8.5 billion searches a day.
The recent success of OpenAI and ChatGPT – with many choosing to use the product over Google search when looking for information – has shown the potential of AI in improving search. Although not perfect, ChatGPT can often provide more information more quickly than a Google search. Project Magi (or perhaps Google Magi?) is a sign that Google will not go down without a fight. It shows the company is taking AI seriously and wants to create a technology that rivals ChatGPT (which just so happens to be co-owned by Microsoft).
The company has so far only released Bard, their alternative to ChatGPT. Currently only available in limited and early access, the technology had a poor launch but offers many of the same functions as ChatGPT. Project Magi is going one step further.
What do we know about the project so far?
Information on the project has been limited but interesting. There’s definitely a lot to consider for those in ecommerce.
Currently, Google has 160 engineers working on this new search engine. These are the things we know about Project Magi so far:
- It will offer a more conversational interface, similar to ChatGPT. Search will be more conversational in tone, as if you have your own personal chatbot. It will adapt to user preferences and ask follow up questions if necessary.
- Personalising results is a big feature of Project Magi. It will make sure that everything you see is tailored to your own individual needs and there should be fewer instances of irrelevant results after your query. Of course this will only improve the more you use it.
- Transactions will take place entirely within Google. Similar to social commerce today, purchasing products and booking travel will be possible entirely within Google. Using Google Pay, the user never needs to leave the site.
- Project Magi will launch in less than a month to a select group of users. More on this below!
How will Project Magi affect ecommerce?
Project Magi potentially has huge ramifications for ecommerce. On the one hand, everything can take place via Google so there are fewer obstacles to a successful checkout. On the other, marketers, brands and retailers may need to rethink their approach to selling online. Here’s why:
- Although there are fewer obstacles to a purchase, Google may wish to take a cut of the final sale which will have to translate to your pricing.
- Because Google Magi is set to personalise search, getting your products on the radar of new customers may become harder. Conversely, it may be easier to show newer products to sell to existing customers. Google will personalise the recommendations around a user.
- Practicing good product feed management will be more important than ever. You don’t want Google to penalise you from results!
- A great customer experience will become even more important. If Google knows a customer didn’t like their purchase experience, they may not show your products in search in future.
- Advertising and campaigns may change. Perhaps Magi may suggest product ideas as part of your campaign. Or maybe results will have an ad show directly beneath the answer to a user's query. Talk about a great way of finding a warm target market!
These are just a few ideas of how Magi may change the way people shop within Google. It’s doubtful that it will immediately replace Google Shopping but it’s still interesting to think about.
When does Project Magi launch?
According to Google, Project Magi will initially launch in May 2023. This will only be to around 1 million users within the US. Depending on how the trial goes, the company expects to expand this to 30 million users by the end of the year. Additional features will be released in Q4 2023.
The idea of ecommerce moving more towards selling on marketplaces, social commerce (selling on TikTok, Pinterest, etc.) and connected commerce has never been more true. Google’s latest project shows that the ecommerce industry is constantly iterating and revolutionising how we shop. The rise of ChatGPT and AI means we may experience this new Google sooner rather than later.
If you wish to stay ahead of the game and ensure that your product feeds will always be fully fleshed out and optimised for Google, feel free to contact us to learn more about our award-winning ecommerce software.
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