the google does fashion

It was inevitable, really. Google generally hires smart (okay, brilliant) people who know their stuff, so it should come as no surprise that they took issue with the fairly dismal state of online shopping and came out with their own tool. Let’s face it, online shopping is a mess. Lots of designers don’t have websites, most websites are impossible to navigate (I’m talking to you Sears.com), and there is just SO MUCH out there.

Google, as you know, is genius at aggregating and finding information. They kinda did this with their new product: boutiques.com. Their search feature is great. I searched ‘Fair Isle Sweater’ both there and on shopstyle.com, and I like boutiques.com search much better. Plus they had a great Delia’s sweater (here) that I missed earlier. They still lack the ability to search on Forever 21 or Zara’s websites, leaving them to be the Southwest of online retailers, I guess.

But the google isn’t betting the house on searches. Oh no. They are much smarter and much less confident in the human ability to think independently (or at all). They are banking on you not really knowing what you want, but knowing who you like. For example, like Carey Mulligan’s pixie style or blogger Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes)? That’s cool, because they both have ’boutiques’ dedicated to their style. So you can copy what they are wearing, head to toe. It’s an interesting idea and probably right on. But does this mean that everyone who loves Snooki’s style will now be a carbon copy? Oh dear. If anything, as retail becomes more expansive and calculated, people who truly do have their own style will become even more valuable as brands in their own right. Like me and Em, right?!?

Final thought: boutiques.com, really? What’s up with the name google? you couldn’t just call it foogle? Like fashion – for – google? (ps – if you do, I’m suing you for stealing my idea and then retiring permanently). boutiques.com isn’t catchy, particularly when competing with sites like: polyvore or shopstyle. Great site, flat name.

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