At its Google Marketing Live event today, the tech giant announced that it’s launching Product Studio, a new tool that lets merchants easily create product imagery using generative AI. Brands will be able to create new imagery within Merchant Center Next, Google’s platform for businesses to manage how their products show up on Google.
Google says Product Hunt gives merchants the ability to create product imagery for free and get more value from the images they already have. You can create new imagery without the added cost of new photoshoots. For example, a skincare company could highlight a seasonal version of a product by requesting an image of the product “surrounded by peaches, with tropical plants in the background.”
Product Hunt can also be used to remove a distracting background. For instance, if you have a complex background in one of your images, you can remove it and have a plain white background instead. The tool can also be used to improve the quality of small or low-resolution images without having to reshoot a product.
Merchants in the United States can access Product Studio starting in the next few months. These features will also be available to merchants using the Google and YouTube app on Shopify.
In a briefing with reporters, Matt Madrigal, the Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Shopping at Google, said advanced technologies like AI have played an important role in Google Shopping products for a long time, and that Product Studio brings these types of technologies directly to small and medium sized businesses.
The company also announced that it’s making it easier for businesses to list on Google in Merchant Center Next. The tech giant is simplifying how to set up a product feed. In the past, merchants setting themselves up on Google for the first time had to manually add their products, prices, images, descriptions and other details. In Merchant Center Next, Google will now automatically populate a merchant’s product feed with the information it can detect from their website. Merchants have the option to edit what gets pulled in, or turn this feature off altogether.
Google is also making it easier for merchants to understand their performance by bringing all insights reports into the Performance tab. With this update, merchants will have one place to review their best-selling products, what businesses show up next to theirs, and even how shoppers are engaging with their local business on Search and Maps.
“For merchants with both online and local brick-and-mortar stores, Merchant Center Next will show all products in one comprehensive view, so it’s easier to manage online and in-store product inventory together,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’ll also show new insights about the potential benefits of fixing errors in product data, so it’s easier to prioritize updates.”
Merchant Center Next has already started rolling out for new users, and Google plans to start upgrading smaller businesses over the coming months and complete the global rollout in 2024. Merchants will be notified when the new experience is ready for them.