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Google launches fashion website

by Kelly MacNeil on November 18, 2010

Since its founding in 1998, Google has revolutionized the way people use the Internet, and the search engine giant entered into the fashion world on Wednesday when it launched Boutiques.com, a website that provides fashion enthusiasts with access to popular and high-fashion clothing items and accessories, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The new endeavor is an effort by Google to help improve their almost non-existent online shopping division and compete with other e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Zappos, which may be taking traffic away from Google.

"Amazon is becoming so popular in e-commerce that people are going there to start some of their searches," Scot Wingo, Chief Executive of ChannelAdvisor Corp., told the news source. "This is Google waking up to that threat."

The website includes a number of different features. It allows visitors to create their own boutique and offers users the ability to share one's online wardrobe with others and ask for comments or advice. Additionally, the site can tell users which celebrity they share the most in common with based on their searches, and eventually it will suggest clothing and accessories that the consumer might like. According to the website, it "uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look."

Boutiques.com is currently only geared toward women in the United States, but the company expects to expand its reach in the near future. While the technology does not sell any merchandise itself, it helps consumers by directing them toward other websites where they might possibly purchase what they're looking for.

According to The New York Times, Google's foray into fashion makes sense, as apparel and accessories were the only e-commerce category to enjoy an increase in sales over the second quarter. Experts also estimate that there will be a significant increase in online holiday shopping compared to last year.

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