Thanksgiving gone Google

Thanksgiving is about sharing, giving thanks and connecting with family and friends. Yet, all too often we get caught up in the holiday rat race—the mad dash to the airport, the supermarket, the mall—and forget to take time out to enjoy the holiday.

To kick off the holidays this year, we wanted to crank up the fun and tone down the stress. So we did a little planning for you and created a one-stop-Google-shop to get you through the week.

With tools like recipe search and YouTube cooking videos that show you the right (and wrong) ways to carve a deep-fried turkey, Google can help you master your Thanksgiving meal with lots of laughs along the way. You can also join members of the Google+ cooking community for cooking lessons over live hangouts. Learn how to make new dishes like pumpkin brulee for the sweet tooths at the table or mix things up this year with a vegan-friendly feast.

Though we can’t control the skies and guarantee a turbulence-free flight home, we can help minimize the time you spend waiting around, with real-time flight updates. Download the Google Search App to get flight updates on the go. And don’t forget to download TV shows, music and more from Google Play to stay entertained on board.

Of course, for those of you who couldn’t make it home this year, you can still get everyone together with Google+ Hangouts. Try scheduling a hangout to video chat with up to nine people you’d otherwise miss this holiday.

Whether you’re rooting for the Cowboys or the Jets, Texans or the Patriots, we can help you stay on top of all the scores and stats. If you’re on the run, ask for real time scores or game details using Voice Search on the Google Search App.

This year Black Friday starts on Thursday, with Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us all kicking off sales on Thanksgiving night. To help you get a head start on the deal-seekers, try our new shortlists, a super-simple alternative to sharing lists of links or bookmarks, as well as 360-degree imagery for many of the season’s hottest toys on Google Shopping. For those of you brave enough to face the masses at the store, use indoor Google Maps to get in and get out of the mall fast.

By putting all your favorite Google features in one place, we hope we can help make things just a little bit easier this Thanksgiving—giving you more time to make memories with those who matter most and enjoy every last bite of that much deserved pumpkin pie. Visit our Thanksgiving hub to get started.

Deck the halls with tools for shopping

I love shopping for gifts for my family and friends, but it’s not always easy. Fortunately, the Google Shopping team has built several new tools to help you (and me!) get an early and stress-free start on holiday shopping.

Explore products in 360-degree detail on Google Shopping
Having trouble imagining what a toy actually looks like from the online picture? Now, when searching for a subset of toys on Google Shopping, you can see 360-degree photos of the products. These interactive images bring the in-store feeling of holding and touching a product to your online browsing.

Look for the “3D” swivel icon on the product image to see a toy in 360-degree view, on HTML5 enabled browsers. We’ve also put together a Holiday Toy Collection featuring this enhanced imagery—explore the collection on this site. 360-degree imagery is coming for other types of products soon.

If you’re a retailer or manufacturer interested in displaying these rich images of your products on Google Shopping, please fill out this form.

Use Shortlists to stay organized and collaborate with friends
New in Google Shopping, Shortlists make it easier to research products and plan purchases with friends and family. Instead of using bookmarked websites and docs containing long lists of URLs, or back-and-forth emails with friends, you can now consolidate all your shopping research in one place. With Shortlists, you can easily:
  • Keep track of products you like from Google Shopping and across the web
  • View product photos, prices and specs side by side
  • Share your Shortlist with friends, who can add their own ideas

Create a Shortlist by visiting or clicking the “Add to Shortlist” button as you browse products on Google Shopping.

Discover great deals and store promotions on Google Shopping
To help you make the most of your holiday budget, Google Shopping now shows discounts or promotions on the products you're viewing. If discounts or promotions are available, you can click on the link and visit the retailer’s site to redeem the offer.

That’s not all...a few more new Google Shopping features
Here are a few of the other tools we’ve created to make your holiday shopping a little easier:
  • Not sure you’ve found the perfect gift? Read reviews from people you know and write your own product reviews on Google Shopping.
  • Found an item that’s almost perfect but not quite? Now you can view “visually similar” results for even more types of products and categories, including jewelry, coats, handbags and more.
  • Buying an important gift? Look for the Google Trusted Store logo as you shop. It indicates a store ships quickly and delivers excellent customer service.
  • Shopping on the go? Browse for gift ideas, find local sales and research products with the new and improved Google Shopper 3.0, currently available for Android.
  • Still need some inspiration? Browse holiday catalogs from the top retailers directly on Google Shopping.

Happy holiday shopping!

Connecting shoppers and great stores online

Online shopping is great for many reasons, but most of all it’s a convenient and fast way to turn your intent to buy that new pair of running shoes, for example, into an actual purchase. But shoppers tell us they’re often nervous about buying from online stores they don’t know. We created the free Google Trusted Stores program to help solve this problem. When shoppers see the Google Trusted Store badge, they know in a snap they’re shopping with a reputable retailer and they can feel confident making an informed purchase.

We’ve been testing the program since last fall with about 50 online merchants and more than 10 million orders. It’s working even better than we hoped, generating positive feedback from shoppers and increasing sales for merchants. Starting today, Google Trusted Stores is open to all U.S. merchants who want to apply.

Helping shoppers choose stores they can trust
When shopping online, you may come across the Google Trusted Store badge. Hover over it and you’ll see a “report card” which shows “grades” for that merchant’s shipping and service, including more precise metrics about what the grades mean.

The Google Trusted Store badge and report card

This badge is only awarded to online stores that deliver a great overall experience, so even if you haven’t shopped with this merchant before, you can easily tell if they are trustworthy, ship quickly and reliably, and offer exceptional customer service. If there’s a problem with your purchase, we’re here to help. When you buy from a Google Trusted Store, you can opt in to get up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection per shopper. And our dedicated customer service team is there to work with you and the merchant to assist in resolving the issue.

Helping merchants demonstrate their excellence and earn new business
Google Trusted Stores helps online stores attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites. Soon the badge will also appear on ads and in Google Shopping results.

Google Trusted Store badge on AdWords

Over the last nine months of the pilot, our tests show that participating in this program can help merchants big and small. For example, Wayfair, the largest online-only retailer of home goods and one of the top 50 largest online retailers as ranked by Internet Retailer, increased sales* on its site by 2.3 percent with Google Trusted Stores. And Beau-coup, a specialty online favors and gifts retailer, saw an 8.6 percent increase*. Take a look at our merchant success stories to learn more about how Google Trusted Stores has had a positive impact on website conversion rates and average order sizes for online retailers.

Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. We’re still testing the most helpful ways to display Trusted Stores information to shoppers, so you may see different versions, or none at all, while we conduct experiments. If you’re a merchant and would like to participate in the Google Trusted Stores program, please apply.

*Increased sales percentages are based on a combination of uplift in conversion and average order size.

Five tips for stress-free holiday shopping

Today, on Cyber Monday—the biggest online shopping day of the year—digi-savvy shoppers will take to the web to get ahead on their holiday shopping. You’ve managed to avoid the Black Friday crowds, but are your online shopping skills up to snuff? Just in the nick of time, here are five tips on how to use Google tools to save time and money this holiday shopping season.

Tip #1. Avoid the lines and parking nightmares—shop from your couch with Google Catalogs
Today we’re announcing a version of Google Catalogs for Android tablets, available for free in Android Market. Now shoppers can browse Google Catalogs on both iOS and Android tablets. With over 125 of your favorite brands and 400 issues across a myriad of categories, Google Catalogs puts all your favorite print catalogs right at your fingertips. You’ll find pages of gift and decorating ideas and get a head start on your holiday shopping list.

Browse Pottery Barn’s Christmas 2011 catalog on Google Catalogs - now available for Android tablets.

Tip #2. Let Google Product Search do your research for you
With so many brands, models and features to choose from, sometimes finding the perfect gift—especially when it comes to electronics and gadgets—can be overwhelming. Google Product Search gives you detailed product information, reviews and price comparisons for all the gifts on your list.

We recently launched a new comparison feature for electronics that lets you quickly see how a particular product stacks up against other similar models and brands. For example, on the Nikon D3100 product page, you can now see—at a glance—feature comparisons between the D3100 and other Nikon models as well as cameras from other brands. Read more about other recent Product Search updates on the Google Commerce blog.

A quick comparison shows the differences in resolution and other camera features.

Tip #3. Bring Google Shopper along as your mobile shopping assistant
Have you ever found yourself standing in a store, trying to decide between, say, two blenders, and wishing you could consult an expert? Google Shopper can help. Wherever you are, this free mobile app for Android and iPhone lets you scan a barcode or search by voice or text to get detailed product information, read reviews and compare prices online and at local stores. You can also use Google Shopper to see if a product is in stock nearby.

Research, share and find products near you with Google Shopper.

Tip #4. Take advantage of holiday savings with Google Offers
Before you hit main street for a shopping extravaganza, check out Google Offers for great deals on local places to eat, shop and play. Google Offers has teamed up with a number of great retailers this holiday season, making it easy to save while you shop. You can also find and buy great deals from Google Offers with the free Android app.

Tip #5. Simplify your online and offline shopping experience with Google Wallet
Save time and money by shopping with Google Wallet — a smart, virtual wallet that stores your payment cards, offers and more on your phone and online. When you shop with merchants that accept Google Wallet online just use your Google Wallet username and password to complete your purchase—there’s no need to pull out your credit card or enter your shipping address with every transaction. If you’re at the register at stores like American Eagle, Macy’s, Gap, Inc or any of our other merchant partners, take a minute to try the Google Wallet app, available on Nexus S 4G for Sprint, to tap, pay and save.

I hope these tips and Google tools help to make your shopping experience a little easier (and fun!) this Cyber Monday, and throughout the holiday season.

(Cross-posted on the Commerce blog)

More local deals, personalized to your interests

There’s a universe of amazing daily deals out there, but it's hard to find them all in one place—and even harder to discover the ones that really matter to you.

We’re making improvements to Google Offers that help address this challenge. First, we’re delivering more amazing deals from a bunch of new categories including outdoor adventure sports, luxury experiences, family-friendly events, classes and more. We’re also introducing a personalization quiz to help you find just the deal you want, all in one place.

Google Offers subscribers in the San Francisco Bay Area will have access to these new deals, and the quiz is now available in all cities. We'll gradually roll out an expanded offers inventory to new cities in the months to come.

To make all this happen, we’ve partnered with the best deal providers in the industry including Dealfind, DoodleDeals, Gilt City, GolfNow, HomeRun, Juice in the City, kgbdeals, Mamapedia, Plum District, PopSugar Shop, ReachDeals, Schwaggle, TIPPR and zozi. Now, with one account you can easily purchase, manage and redeem all your offers in one place.

Visit Google Offers today to purchase this great deal from the leading luxury experience site Gilt City

Our new personalization quiz is a first step towards bringing you more relevant deals. You can tell us what categories you’re interested in and where you hang out so we can send you just the tailored offers that match your interests—all in one email. If you’re not the outdoorsy type or interested in cosmetic treatments, then we won’t send you deals for zipline adventures and laser hair removal. Don’t worry, if your interests change you can always update your preferences.

You can select what categories of deals you’d like to receive with the personalization quiz

You can subscribe to receive deals that match your interests and learn more about Google Offers at If you’re a deal provider interested in partnering with Google Offers, please submit your application using this form.

Finally, thanks to The Dealmap team that recently joined Google. They definitely helped on this one and we’re looking forward to working with them to develop many new ideas in the months and years to come.

(Cross-posted on the Commerce Blog)

More Google Wallet merchants are live. Now you can pay AND save in a single tap.

We’re hearing from people at check-out counters throughout the country that paying with your phone is a little like magic. Just look at the ecstatic reaction on the faces of our friends who made their first Google Wallet purchases last Thursday.

Today, our partners American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys“R”Us are rolling out an even better Google Wallet experience. For the first time ever in the U.S., at these select stores, you can not only pay but also redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points—all with a single tap of your phone. This is what we call the Google Wallet SingleTap experience.

With Google Wallet in hand, you can walk into a Jamba Juice, American Eagle Outfitters or any other partner store. Once you’ve ordered that Razzmatazz smoothie or found the right color Slim Jean, head straight to the cashier and tap your phone to pay and save—that’s it. You don’t have to shuffle around to find the right coupon to scan or rewards card to stamp because it all happens in the blink of an eye.

The Offers tab in Google Wallet has been updated to include a new "Featured Offers" section with discounts that are exclusive to Google Wallet. Today, these include 15% off at American Eagle Outfitters, 10% off at The Container Store, 15% off at Macy’s and an all-fruit smoothie for $2 at Jamba Juice. There are many more Google Wallet exclusive discounts to come, and you can save your favorites in Google Wallet so they’ll be automatically applied to your bill when you check out.

Organizing loyalty cards in your wallet is getting easier too. Today, Foot Locker, Guess, OfficeMax and American Eagle Outfitters are providing loyalty cards for Google Wallet so you can rack up reward points automatically as you shop. More of these are on the way.

One more thing—in response to user feedback, we’ve improved transaction details for the Google Prepaid Card with real-time transaction information including merchant name, location, dollar value and time of each transaction. Here’s what it looks like:

Finally, a special thanks to Chevron, D’Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes Supermarkets and Pinkberry who are now also working to equip their stores to accept Google Wallet.

It’s still early days for Google Wallet, but this is an important step in expanding the ecosystem of participating merchants to make shopping faster and easier in more places. If you’re a merchant and want to work with us to make shopping easier for your customers and connect with them in new ways, please sign up on the Google Wallet site. And if you’re a shopper and want to purchase a Nexus S 4G phone from Sprint with Google Wallet, visit this page.

(Cross-posted on the Commerce blog)

Building an amazing mobile shopping experience with Google Commerce Search

Mobile usage in retail is on the rise—every year we see an increasing number of shopping queries originate from mobile phones. As mobile continues to proliferate, it’s also fundamentally changing the way people shop. Mobile and shopping are made for each other.

Knowing this, we’re sharing a secret with you: it’s not too late to get your e-commerce site ready for the mobile surge this holiday shopping season. In fact, our newest customer, Timberland, just went live with their mobile-optimized website powered by Google Commerce Search in a matter of days.

Chris Hardisty, director of Timberland Global E-Commerce, told us: “Our first priority in developing our mobile website was making sure customers had the best experience possible. Shoppers today expect fast and relevant results especially on mobile, where speed and interactivity matter most. Since we launched our mobile-optimized website, we have seen mobile sales grow 20 times faster than our desktop site sales.”

Today we’re growing the Google Commerce Search family by opening up our new Google Commerce Search Reseller Program, and welcoming Branding Brand and Perficient as our inaugural resellers. We wanted to make it easier for retailers to adopt Google Commerce Search to help them achieve amazing results and meet their customers’ needs. Through this new program, resellers can work with us to bring the unique capabilities of Google Commerce Search to their retail clients.

Branding Brand has worked with Timberland and—earlier this year—GNC to turn their mobile visions into reality. Before GNC optimized their mobile website, 10 to 15 percent of their e-commerce traffic came from mobile. Since launching it this summer, there are twice as many visitors using search, and mobile search conversions are up 50 percent.

If you decide that building a mobile application is the best choice for you, it’s still important to build a powerful search experience that will help shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for and engage with your brand. In August, Westfield launched a mobile shopping app powered by Google Commerce Search for its 55 malls throughout the U.S. Alan Cohen, Executive Vice President, Management and Marketing for Westfield, told us “Whether the shopper is looking for a very specific product or general holiday gift items, the ability to search retailer products effortlessly is of real benefit.”

Ready to get started with your mobile commerce site? With the big holiday shopping season coming soon, we wanted to share some tips based on our relationships with our merchant customers:
  • Every millisecond counts: You can’t deliver an amazing mobile shopping experience to your customers by wasting their time. Shoppers should be able to find the products without unnecessary clicks, typing or other steps.
  • Engage your audience: Search has become highly interactive with suggestions and auto-complete, while mobile allows consumers to touch and engage with their devices in new and fun ways. Combining the two allows you to intrigue your potential customers for instant gratification.
  • Get to the point: Whether someone’s looking for a high-resolution digital camera or orange khaki trousers, you want to make sure that it’s easy to find—with minimal keystrokes, of course. Space is limited on those 3- or 4-inch screens, so make the most of it by providing relevant search results.
  • Bridge the gap: According to our holiday retail user survey, 65 percent of high-end device users report they have used their device to find a business and then made a purchase at that business in person. In other words: mobile provides a great opportunity to drive foot traffic and bridge online and offline sales. You can delight shoppers by showing them when a product is also available in a store nearby—in-line with the search results.
We built Google Commerce Search just under two years ago to help retailers provide a great shopping experience to their customers, and we’ve had positive feedback from our retail customers on how they’ve been able to increase search revenues, site searches and online conversions while increasing customer satisfaction. Get started now with Google Commerce Search to build a great mobile experience in time for this year’s shopping season.

Launching Google Wallet on Sprint and working with Visa, American Express and Discover

In May we announced Google Wallet—an app that makes your phone your wallet—with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC).

We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update—just look for the “Wallet” app. Here’s a demo of Google Wallet in action:

Google Wallet enables you to pay with your Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards. As a thanks to early adopters, we’re adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.

When we announced Google Wallet, we pledged a commitment to an open commerce ecosystem. We appreciate Citi and MasterCard for being our launch partners. And today, Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.

Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets. In fact, we’ve got a video of our first customer, someone who is ready to replace his famously over-stuffed wallet. We hope Google Wallet gives him “serenity now.”

This is still just the beginning, and while we’re excited about this first step, we look forward to bringing Google Wallet to more phones in the future. You can learn more about Google Wallet at

Shop your favorite catalogs with Google Catalogs

(Cross-posted on the Commerce and Mobile blogs)

For years, shoppers have enjoyed flipping through glossy print catalogs to be inspired, discover new trends and find great products. Today, mobile technologies can make catalog shopping more engaging, social and creative. With that in mind, we’ve created Google Catalogs—a free app for tablet devices that enables you to browse all of your favorite catalogs and interact with new layers of rich-media content.

The Google Catalogs app features digital versions of catalogs across many popular categories, including fashion and apparel, beauty, jewelry, home, kids and gifts. We’ve partnered with a variety of top brands including Anthropologie, Bare Escentuals, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale'sCrate and Barrel, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Sundance Catalog, Tea Collection, Urban Outfitters and Williams-Sonoma, just to name a few.

With Google Catalogs, you can:
  • Interact: Zoom in to see products up close, tap on tags to learn more about an item or, in some catalogs, view inspiring photo albums and videos.
  • Find products in nearby stores: When an item catches your eye, instantly find it in a store near you or tap “Buy on Website” to visit the merchant online.
  • Express your creativity: Create a collage of your favorite catalog pages and products. If you need inspiration, you can check out collages created by others.
  • Share with friends: Email a product or collage to all your shopping buddies.
  • Get instant access to new catalogs: Add catalogs to your Favorites and get notified each time a new issue arrives.
  • Discover new products and brands: Search for products within or across multiple catalogs to find exactly what you’re looking for.

To download the app on your iPad, visit the App Store. Visit to learn more, and stay tuned for Google Catalogs for Android tablets, coming soon! If you’re a merchant and would like to participate in Google Catalogs, tell us about your catalog by filling out this form on our website.

Happy shopping!

Google Offers beta launching in New York City and the Bay Area

(Cross-posted on the Google Commerce Blog)

Following our first launch of Google Offers beta in Portland last month, we’re bringing great deals to the Big Apple and the Bay Area starting today. Subscribers who sign up at or via the new “Today’s Offer” tab in Google Shopper 2.0 for Android will start receiving emails with local offers in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area today.

We’re kicking off our bi-coastal rollout with offers from some local favorites:
We caught up with the small business owners of New York Dog Spa & Hotel, Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland and San Francisco plus Toy Boat Dessert Cafe in San Francisco to learn more about them and why they’re running Google Offers in the coming weeks.

Also starting later today, you can buy, view and redeem a Google Offer of the day with Google Shopper 2.0 for Android. Once you’ve bought or saved an offer, it will appear in the My Offers tab in both the Shopper app and when you visit Shopper will also connect you to all kinds of deals that are near you in the Nearby Offers tab, so wherever you are, you can still get great offers from Google even if you haven’t signed up for the daily deals in Portland, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is all just the beginning. Whether it’s touring Napa wineries, grabbing a slice of deep dish pizza in San Francisco or Albany, CA or catching an improv show in New York, stay tuned for deals from the best these areas have to offer.

Next up, we’ll be heading to Austin, Boston, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Point your browser to to sign up ahead of time so you don’t miss the sweet deals when we launch in these cities.