Top toy lists are typically the purview of major retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart and Target, but this year, Google unveiled its own list of hot toys. It’s no ordinary list. Consumers are able to view the toys in 3-D, using a cursor to turn an item in circles and view it from all angles. There are also listings of online stores and nearby stores, as well as reviews.

It’s just one example of how Google is marshaling its resources in an effort to become shoppers’ information destination. Sameer Samat, VP-Google shopping, says the company’s efforts are in response to changes in consumer behavior and the merging of the online and offline worlds, particularly when it comes to shopping habits. Seventeen percent of shoppers will visit a store, then buy online, while 51% who buy in store, researched first online, he says.

“That exemplifies where we want to go from a company standpoint,” Mr. Samat said. “We want to make the customer’s life easier, save them time and turn intentions into actions as quickly as possible. That’s the backdrop for us.”

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