Google takes on Amazon Web Services with ‘Cloud for Retail’ platform

15/04/2019

Google has launched a new solution designed to help retailers deliver personalised recommendations, unite online with offline shopping experiences and AI analytics.

Google takes on Amazon Web Services with ‘Cloud for Retail’ platform

The new platform was introduced under new CEO Thomas Kurian Wednesday at Google Cloud Next 2019 with its top cloud rival squarely in mind.

‘Google Cloud for Retail’ is a set of services designed around key aspects of any retail operation, such as logistics and customer acquisition, and also includes some pre-existing artificial intelligence services repackaged for a retail push.

Google is also hoping the platform will appeal to to retailers worried about subsidising Amazon’s retail operation through Amazon Web Services, which has prompted massive retailers like Walmart and Target to look elsewhere for cloud services.

Google offers managed customer reliability engineering (CRE) services for preparing for peak volume events.

Real time inventory management and analytics provide a full view of what’s in stock in-store, in-warehouse and online.

Visual product search enables retailers to integrate Google Lens-type capabilities that let customers learn more about a product, pricing and availability by taking a picture of it with their phones. IKEA is already using this to let customers find a specific or similar product on its site.

Google says its Recommendations AI “continuously learns and adapts to real-time user behaviors and dynamic environments such as changes in assortment, pricing, and special offers,” to power personalized product recommendations on retailer websites.

Currently in beta, AutoML Tables is a solution for data science teams to build and deploy machine learning models on structured data — such as product data. Retail applications can include supply chain management, fraud detection, conversion and revenue optimization.

Google also announced it’s working with several partners to build more retail-oriented solutions. Partnerships include Accenture for personalization; Deloitte for demand forecasting and other supply chain analytics solutions; and Trax for in-store inventory insights with image recognition.

Google also announced a partnership with Salesforce Wednesday focused on improving customer service experiences. It combines Google’s Contact Center AI which parses tone and intent of customer service calls and can bring in environmental information like weather and news events with Salesforce’s customer data to guide sales and customer service agents.

To learn more about retail solutions on Google Cloud, visit the website.

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