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Today In Retail: Google Unveils Enhanced Shopping Tools; Square Partners with TikTok

In today’s top retail news, Google is adding new features to its Google Lens technology to help make shopping more seamless, while Square and TikTok are partnering to allow online sellers to send customers directly to their digital storefronts. Also, Etsy has opened a virtual house to try to keep consumers engaged, and the spread of COVID-19 across Vietnam is delaying the delivery of the iPhone 13.

New Google Shopping Tools Give Consumers Visual and Inventory Certainty, While Driving Higher Conversions

Google is rolling out enhancements to its Google Lens technology for iOS and Chrome browsers, leveraging the image recognition technology along with the search giant’s Shopping Graph database to create new levels of discoverability and satisfaction in digital shopping experiences. In a conversation with Karen Webster, Matt Madrigal, VP/GM of merchant shopping at Google, said part of the enhanced functionality will allow consumers to filter stores by whether they have a specific product in stock.

Square, TikTok Team up to Link Online Sellers via Social Media Platform

Global software, payments and hardware platform Square has joined forces with short-form video platform TikTok to offer a new integration to connect online sellers to potential customers via videos on the social media platform. The joint effort allows sellers to send viewers directly from TikTok videos, ads and shopping tabs to products available in their existing Square Online store, and will be available to all sellers soon.

Etsy’s 12-Room Virtual House Aims to Make Shoppers Feel at Home

In its quest to hold onto pandemic-era shoppers who turned to Etsy for masks and other handcrafted goods over the last 18 months, the marketplace took a big step forward in expanding how consumers can interact with sellers, opening the doors to an augmented realty-powered shoppable house. With 12 separate rooms full of virtual merchandise, the Etsy House, built in collaboration with Boundary, features hundreds of items to consider and incorporates the ability to share the house and its contents on social media, tapping into another hot consumer trend.

COVID-19 Surge in Vietnam Delays iPhone 13 Delivery

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Vietnam has led to delivery delays for Apple’s iPhone 13, mainly due to limited supplies of camera modules for the quartet of new smartphones. Apple assembles “a significant number” of its component parts in Vietnam, according to a Nikkei Asia report. One of the camera module manufacturing facilities in southern Vietnam has been ramping back up recently, which could mean production may crank back up in the next several weeks, but wait times for some phones are up to four weeks in the U.S.

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