Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Lilian Rincon, Google Shopping | Glossy 50 2023

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The Glossy 50 celebrates individual changemakers. They include executives who took their companies into new, competitive categories, industry newcomers who disrupted age-old processes, dealmakers who led groundbreaking partnerships and creatives whose work managed to cut through the noise. More from the series →

The Innovators: These thought leaders advanced their respective industries with groundbreaking products or ideas.

As the head of consumer shopping product across Google, Lilian Rincon has been at the center of the company’s rollout of AI features, which started in 2016 with the Google Home device. That includes its virtual apparel and beauty try-on tools and its product recommendations, all of which are meant to increase personalization and aid product discovery. Google has long been a go-to destination for brands looking to win through ads and SEO, and AI is set to bolster its shopping opportunities. 

“Google is not a marketplace or a retailer; it’s an ecosystem,” said Rincon. “My job is to steer the team to help shoppers feel inspired and find what they’re looking for.” Rincon leads a team of engineers, product managers, user experience experts and data scientists.

This year, Rincon and her team partnered with Pat McGrath Labs to offer virtual try-on for the brand’s beauty products. In addition, in October, Pat McGrath Labs launched a pop-up shop in New York where customers could try on the brand’s latest collection in AR, via Google-supplied technology. More than 3,500 people tried the experience on-site.

Meanwhile, Google launched its AI-aided virtual apparel try-on service in June. In doing so, it aimed to influence the broader fashion industry by leveraging 80 models with a wide spectrum of body types. “We didn’t generate the people; we [orchestrated] a custom photoshoot with a focus on diversity,” said Rincon. Likewise, Google worked with 148 models when building out its beauty try-on feature. 

“Brands are asking us to introduce try-on for more categories because it’s helping to reduce their returns,” Rincon said. In addition, she said, retailers that are essentially competitors have approached Google wanting to leverage its try-on technology.

“We are basically the largest shopping mall in the world, if you think about it from an ecosystem perspective,” she said. 

In October, Google parent company Alphabet reported third-quarter revenue of $76.69 billion, up 11% year over year and above analyst predictions. The report also showed a 9% year-over-year increase in ad sales for Google and over a billion users.

Moving forward, Google plans to increasingly integrate AI into its shopping experience and make the shopping experience increasingly seamless, including with features like price drop notifications. “We are focused on a balanced portfolio of investments, for now and the future,” Rincon said.

Click here to see all 2023 Glossy 50 honorees.

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