Google gives admins more control with Commerce Search cloud service

Improved dashboard includes tools to schedule special sales, adjust product rankings, and create customized navigation bars to filter results

Google will unveil on Thursday what it calls significant improvements to Commerce Search, a cloud-hosted search service that online retailers can sign up for to power their e-stores' search functions.

Commerce Search, launched in November, now comes with a revamped control dashboard that lets site administrators schedule special sales, adjust product rankings to match promotions and partnerships, and create customized navigation bars to filter results.

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This new version also features on-the-fly query auto-completion as users type in the search box, while the product's speed and result relevancy have been improved.

With version 2.0, Google is introducing a new, lower-priced option. Previously, Commerce Search started at $50,000 per year for a 100,000-item store inventory and 10 million queries. While that tier remains, the product now starts at $25,000 per year for 50,000 items and 3 million queries.

The goal of Commerce Search is to attract retailers that want to provide a better product search and browsing experience on their sites, which is key to retaining visitors and generating sales, a Google official said.

"Retailers want a good online experience because it helps both with online and offline sales," said Nitin Mangtani, a Google senior product manager.

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