During the festive season, many complain of wasting time trying to figure out what presents to buy to whom along with additional time trying to beat the traffic, go into shops and buying presents. Luckily, by time, e-commerce made this process easier.

However, with products from all over the world available through phones, one is faced with even more confusion on which product fits best. This is where Google’s latest AI powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) steps in.

The idea behind this new tool is to help consumers find unique or niche products for friends, family members or colleagues. The experience is aimed to mimic personal shopping, at your fingertips.

Say one is to type: “great gift for Apple users”, Google would then suggest different subcategories of items that can be bought for Apple users. Perhaps, the list might include, phone cases, chargers and technology subscriptions and accessories, among other things. In addition, it will give consumers further information about why such gift would be appropriate and multiple links from businesses that cater for the consumer’s needs.

Initially, the SGE feature was only available in the United States (US), India and Japan. However, last month, Google expanded to Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and other regions. In addition, latest updates included more languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Indonesian to expand further access to non-English speakers.

The new SGE feature also includes a new tool for those who, conversely, know what they have in mind, but cannot find anything similar to what they need.

For instance, say one would like a ceramic round mug, with roses as a design. The new feature will allow users to generate photo-realistic images using text description of the item that they want, to find similar. Users can then add more prompts to make it as precise as possible. This new feature will be available to US SGE users from December 2023.

Adding more to the new shopping experience, powered through AI, the third feature will give male customers the ability to virtually try on tops from hundreds of brands, including Under Armour and Abercrombie. This feature was initially launched for women’s tops in the past. Upon the launch, Google had said that “products with the option to virtually try on have received significantly higher-quality interactions from shoppers.”

Such technological features are not new to the market, although not very common. Many optical online shops have introduced the try-on feature on their website such as Zenni Optical and Firmoo.

At the moment, SGE is not available in Europe, including in Malta and it seems like Maltese customers have to stick to more “traditional” means of shopping for the festive season this year; online, in stores or the less frequently used method, teleshopping.


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