Essentially a shopping search engine, Boutiques.com uses tastes and extensive filtering options to produce the item you’re looking for. You can start shopping for your items and accessories this second but the site currently only stocks women’s fashion – men to come soon apparently – and will only ship to US shoppers.
On visiting the site you can choose to browse the “boutiques” of celebs and fashionistas who were selected by Google to partner with for the launch – I’m deeply offended I wasn’t asked. Or sign up yourself and create a boutique of your own. On registration you’re first asked a number of questions to determine your style and preferences. Don’t be fooled by the 6 steps, each has a plethora of questions each specifically chosen to provide you with as personalised a shopping experience as possible.
After being questioned you’re then asked to complete the standard sign up form, no Google login available, this is a completely new site. Finally once you’re in, you’re able to browse, save and favorite items and if you’re keen to dig deeper, you’re presented with recommendations and advanced filtering and search options too.
On face value this appears to be a very random move from Google but the visual search technology itself stems from Google’s acquisition of Like.com for a reported $100 million. Before the purchase, Like.com ran similar sites including Covet.com, and the styling tool Couturious.com.
Interestingly there’s virtually no Google branding on the site. Is this the first of many? It screams “experiment”.