Google has begun to integrate Product Search results for users of Android and iPhones in the US and UK, presenting users with results tailored to their mobile phone.
Product Search for mobile makes for a useful price comparison service, allowing users to check prices and reviews while shopping instore to make sure they are getting a good deal. So how well does it work?
If you try a few product related searches on Google.com from an iPhone browser, shopping results will now appear, as in this search for an iPod Touch:
Clicking on shopping results gives you a list of matching products, as well as a summary of the price ranges on offer:
Pages for individual products, such as the one below for an 8GB iPod Touch provide some very useful information for mobile shoppers; a summary of the product, the minimum and maximum prices available from retailers, a very useful chart which provides a summary of review scores, as well as a link to all the technical information you will ever need:
The number of reviews on offer is impressive, and makes the service very useful for shoppers who may need reassurance about a product they are buying. I’ve looked at other mobile comparison services, and this range of reviews can only be matched by Reevoo’s iPhone site.
For this iPod, users can read all 204 product reviews if they wish, though some are more useful than others. For some reason, someone has given the product a four star rating and left a review even though they haven’t opened the box yet.
This is where a ‘was this review helpful?’ option, as used to great effect by Amazon, would be useful. With this many reviews, people need help sorting the wheat from the chaff.
The price comparison part of the product search is useful too, and the simple sorting options mean it is easier to make sense of results, allowing you to sort by the best prices, or by seller rating. There are a lot of sellers listed, especially for a popular product like the iPod, so these options are essential.
Once you have found the retailer and price that suits you, clicking on the link will take you through to that seller’s product page (in most cases), where it is possible to purchase the product, though most e-commerce sites aren’t especially usable on mobile and entering address and payment details can be a difficult task.
Product Search for mobile is a useful service though, and it compares favourably with other mobile price comparison sites I have reviewed. It also provides one more reason for retailers to get their items submitted to Google Base to get listed in product searches.