Online giant Google has moved into fashion with today’s US launch of Boutiques.com, a website and virtual designer store.
The site lets users create their own personalised online store, showcasing style and brand preferences. Boutiques software then analyses taste and recommends items the user would like.
Visitors cannot make transactions on the online boutique itself but can click through to an online store or a retailer who sells the product.
UK retailers Asos, Harrods and New Look have already signed up to the site which has boutiques from high profile designers Oscar de la Renta and Matthew Williamson.
Google has also secured style-setting celebrities including Nicole Richie to set up boutiques which users can explore. By moving their mouse over merchandise visitors can see similar items and other suggestions to complete the look.
A Google spokesman said: “To date, shopping for soft goods online hasn’t quite matched up with the interactive and visual experience that offline shopping offers. Using machine learning and computer vision technology, Google via Boutiques.com hopes to bring elements of the offline experience to online shopping while also helping to drive traffic to retailers websites.”
Etail giant Asos is set to launch a similar venture in the UK this month. Fashion designers will also be able to set up boutiques on Asos’ Marketplace which will become a global portal where shoppers and independent retailers will be able to buy and sell clothing online.