Google Quietly Shutters Commerce Search For E-Retailers

In 2009, Google launched Commerce Search, a hosted enterprise search product to power online retail stores and e-commerce websites. Commerce Search was the company’s first custom-tailored enterprise search product for a specific vertical. It looks like Google has recently (and quietly) decided to shutter it.

A Google spokesperson issued this statement about the decision:

We are making a strategy shift towards offering more flexible, easier to adopt modules for retailers, such as the Search As You Type widget, rather than a full site search replacement and therefore will no longer be offering Google Commerce Search as a core site search replacement product. We will continue to support our current retail customers using GCS and will try to help them on the best migration process to alternate solutions.

The search product launched in 2009 as a fast search product retailers could add to their e-commerce sites. Commerce search included a number of features that were optimized for retail and product search, such as customized ranking, sorting of results, spell checker, stemming and synonym suggestion, as well as product promotions. Google also updated Commerce search in 2011 with Instant Search availability, merchandising tools and local product availability.

Google had a number of well-known retailers using Commerce Search, including GNC, Forever 21, and Panasonic.

It appears that the decision to shut down commerce search is a more recent one. Last summer, Google announced that it would be sunsetting Google Mini, an enterprise search appliance that’s been around since 2005. At the time, the search giant said that the Mini’s functionality could be better provided by products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search.