Google Unveils Tools for Shopping and Hotel Search
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Shoppers aren't just researching their next vacation on their mobile phones, they're often ready to buy.
Google said mobile travel and shopping searches were up 30 percent year over year, prompting it to roll out some new features.
"October through December are traditionally the biggest months for both travel and shopping, and this year we expect mobile to play its biggest role ever," Google said Tuesday on its blog.
Among the features it unveiled Tuesday are:
- Hotel smart filters -- With hotel smart filters, customers narrow their Google search queries by rating, price and other factors with a tap of the screen.
- Hotel tips -- The "tips" feature is already available for searching for flight information, but now travelers can use it to search for hotels. The feature lets you know if you'll save more money if you change your travel date.
- Flights price tracking -- Want the lowest price for a flight? This option allows you to track dates, routes or even a specific flight, notifying you of any price changes.
Outside the world of travel, Google also announced Showcase Shopping ads, which allow retailers to put together a collection of appealing images related to broad searches like "summer dresses." This can help showcase a retailer's assortment across a broad category.
The company also added to its "TrueView for shopping" feature, which was designed to help YouTube watchers buy the products they were seeing in videos online. The new feature, called a companion banner, sits underneath the video and lets viewers scroll through a series of products that the retailer is selling.