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Accelerate integration of Google Cloud Retail Search

Accelerate integration of Google Cloud retail search

Consumer demand for personalized digital shopping experiences has skyrocketed over the last few years, and constant change is to be expected. Add to this the fact that every retail environment is unique, with specific product catalogs and exclusive customer experience needs. One of the most crucial elements of personalized customer experience is the product discovery journey, enabling customers to quickly and conveniently find products they love with text or visual search, browse product catalogs with ease and receive relevant product recommendations that are personalized to their needs and wants.

A clear priority for leading retailers in the consumer-driven digital era is to provide high quality search and recommendations on their e-commerce platforms to attract, retain and delight customers now and into the future.

Thankfully, Google Cloud Retail Search, part of the Google Cloud Discovery Solutions suite of solutions, empowers retailers to gain competitive advantage with deeply personalized product discovery, visual search and recommendations. And Grid Dynamics just made it a whole lot faster and easier to integrate the solution into your digital commerce system.

Our unique and extensive experience working with the Google Cloud Discovery Solutions team – from the earliest stages of the Retail Search solution’s development, and now with a growing number of successful integrations already under our belt – led us to develop the Google Cloud Discovery Solutions Starter Kit. The starter kit makes the migration to Google Cloud Retail Search fast, efficient and seamless by accelerating data ingestion and changing streaming pipelines, integration with clickstream data, data quality framework, search results comparison tools, and much more.

Google Cloud Retail Search is the next-generation search service from the Google Cloud Discovery Solutions suite of solutions that represents a new AI-based approach to search. It combines state-of-the-art natural language processing and relevance models with a vast Google knowledge graph to truly understand both customer queries and product data. It empowers digital retailers to provide best-in-class, personalized product discovery experiences by seamlessly and conveniently connecting customers with products they want, need and love.

Google Cloud Retail Search enables retailers to enhance search experience within their e-commerce ecosystems with a variety of advanced features, including:

  • Advanced query understanding to provide better search results from broad and ambiguous queries, including queries unrelated to the product.
  • Semantic search allows customers to find more personalized, meaningful, and relevant search results by analyzing the context of queries and customer preferences.
  • Optimized results ranking that leverages user interaction and advanced ranking models which can be optimized for specific business goals, such as engagement or convergence.
  • State-of-the-art security and privacy practices that ensure retailer data is protected with strong access controls and is only used to deliver relevant search results on their properties.

In a nutshell: Google Cloud discovery solutions starter kit

The Google Discovery Solutions Starter Kit helps you quickly establish the data bridge and data ingestion pipelines between your data and Google Retail APIs, ensuring data integrity and quality. It also enables you to quickly try out and experiment with Google Discovery APIs with the included demo site.

Solution overview

Google Cloud Product Discovery solution for retail

The Google Discovery Solutions Starter Kit consists of 4 main components:

  • Data ingestion pipeline with flexible data mapping and transformation framework
  • Reference demo site
  • Monitoring and tracking tools
  • Deployment automation

Data ingestion pipeline

The extendable cloud-native data ingestion pipeline enables rapid ingestion of catalog and customer behavior data into the Google Retail APIs with minimal efforts. Data connectors for popular databases and storage systems are included, and new connectors can be easily added for any custom storage or to include multiple data source combinations. The data ingestion phase is developed according to industry standards and lays a robust foundation for future system integration.

The starter kit provides reference implementation for ingestion jobs for products and signals, batch and streaming, which can be easily extended. The data ingestion process is controlled with flexible configuration which specifies data field mappings, transformations and data quality validations to be applied during data ingestion and indexing. The starter kit covers advanced logic of primary / variant product transformations and is designed for extensibility with new field transformation functions.

Reference demo site

To help you decide if Google Discovery Solutions is right for you, we developed a simple reference site which is an interactive, realistic prototype web-store to demonstrate the capabilities of Google Cloud Retail Search, Recommendations and Vision Search on your product catalog. You can use this demo site to evaluate search quality, and later as a checkpoint during system integration.

The demo site contains:

  • Product List Page with text search and autocomplete, facets and filters, as well as  search by picture (similar, upload picture);
  • Product Details Page with Recommendations (based on signals).

The site components can be used to integrate with any headless CMS, simply changing the Provider Module and keeping the search capabilities of Google Cloud Retail Search. NextJS  Commerce framework used in reference demo sites supports BigCommerce, Shopify, Swell, Saleor and Vendure integration out-of-a-box.

Monitoring and tracking tools

The Monitoring and data quality framework helps to ensure data integrity through stream validations and sanity checks. In-stream validations check whether incoming data has the expected format and raises warnings if required field information is missing or malformed.

Post-ingestion sanity checks perform stochastic checks of source data versus ingested data and raise warnings if major discrepancies are found.

The monitoring component helps to track statistics of the data ingestion process and analyze results. Rich and detailed reports give you the opportunity to tune in the transformation configuration and compare the results. Each configuration might be stored as code, so it can be versioned, reviewed and shipped as an artifact.

Deployment automation

To accelerate initial deployment and future changes or customizations, deployment scripts automate the cloud tenant configuration, data pipelines and other infrastructure deployment process.

Get started with Google discovery services migration

If you’re ready to gain competitive advantage with powerful semantic and visual search, rich results relevancy and recommendations, and deep personalization features out of the box, get in touch with us to discuss integrating Google Cloud Retail Search and other Google Discovery services into your e-commerce ecosystem.

If you want to augment your existing commercetools platform with personalized retail search, be sure to check out our exclusive Google Discovery Solutions Starter Kit for commercetools.

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