Google Cloud offers image search, recommendations service for retailers

A third service, customizable product search, is in private beta.

Google's Google Cloud division today announced it has made generally available two search functions that rely on machine learning techniques to help retailers who use its cloud service.

Called Vision API product search and Recommendations AI, the two services are part of what Google has unveiled as a suit of functions called Product Discovery Solutions for Retail.

The vision search function will let a retailer's customers submit a picture and received ranked results of products that match the picture in either appearance or semantic similarity to the object. 

Recommendations, said Google, is "able to piece together the history of a customer's shopping journey and serve them with customized product recommendations."

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Both are generally available now to retailers. Pricing for Image API is based on a cost per thousand queries per month, which is free for the first thousand, and starts at $4.50 for the next 4,000; and a cost per thousand images stored from a product catalog, which is free for the first thousand and ten cents for the next four thousand.

Recommendations is priced based on predictions, with the first 20 million predictions costing 27 cents per thousand, with declining price per thousand after that. To train the recommendations model, the service costs $2.50 per node per hour on Google Cloud.

Some additional Google Cloud costs may be incurred.

A third service within Product Discovery Solutions for Retail is called Cloud Search for Retail. This service is in a private beta at the moment. The company says the service will use a shopper's intent, and the context of a search, to produce "high-quality product search functionality that can be embedded into their websites and mobile applic