Google has extended Shopping to India – a country which has one of the largest online populations in the world, with 400 million Internet users. Despite the fact more consumers are getting connected daily, less than one in every three Indian shoppers buy online. Google hopes to change this and make shopping online easier and quicker for hundreds of millions of consumers with the launch of Shopping in the country.

Amazon already has a presence in India but according to data from the Sixth Economic Census quoted by Google, of the nation’s 58 million small and medium businesses, around 35% are retailers – and only a fraction sell online. The search engine says this is a clear sign that enormous opportunities exist for Indian SMEs to begin trading online and open up their business to new sales avenues.

Google Shopping in India will be ‘personalized and immersive’ says Surojit Chatterjee, Vice President of Product Management at Google Shopping.  Consumers will find it easy to filter through products, search out offers and compare products in order to find exactly the right item- an experience that will become richer the more the consumer uses it.

Google Shopping will be presented in India with a made-to-browse Shopping home page, allowing users to browse through a range of products. This will be available on desktop and on basic phones, via a Progressive Web App (PWA). The Shopping home page allows users to easily search through product categories and browse offerings from thousands of retailers and e-tailers. It will also showcase price drops and collate collections of the most popular products for shoppers to view.

A Shopping tab has also been added to the search bar, as of 13 December, 2018 for Google users in India, mimicking functionality elsewhere. As in other territories, this shows products matching the search inputted, from a range of retailers. This is available in both English and Hindi.

A new feature, called StyleSearch is also being integrated to Google Lens, giving shoppers a more visual way to find the products they are searching for. This feature means the shopper can take a picture of a product and then, Google will automatically search for it on Google Shopping.

Merchants too will benefit says Chatterjee, explaining, “For merchants, we are supporting and partnering with the entire retail ecosystem — be it shopping sites, to large retailers, to small local shops — to give them the tools and technology to scale and thrive in today’s digital economy. We hope this enables all kinds of retailers, especially those who have never had an online presence, to reach millions of new consumers.”

Merchants can upload their product feeds via Merchant Centre in both English and Hindi – with Hindi being supported from this month.

With the addition of India, Google Shopping ads are now rolled out in 43 countries worldwide.