I’ve said before that one of the biggest areas for innovation and growth in shopping is local inventory. My thoughts on that are well established so I won’t reproduce them here. Now I want to talk about the presentation of search results.
Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal posts and points to a Comparison Engines post about BrowseGoods, a new shopping site with a dramatic visual interface. Comparison Engine’s Brian Smith has an in-depth review and likes the site very much. I like the idea very much but believe the user experience can be tweaked and improved.
Smith and Baker describe it as “Google Maps for shopping.” I’d say it’s more like Google Earth in the sense that going from the home page to a product is like zooming from space to a city block.
That said, there’s something very appealing and functional about the approach they’re taking. After all, shopping is about seeing and browsing. And I think there are some interesting implication for search.
Visual search engines like Grokker never really caught on with the public. But a combined image and text search could yield something very interesting and differentiated from the current generation of search sites.