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Google’s vibrant new interface makes it super easy to buy from Black brands

It can be challenging for consumers to know what options they have for shopping Black-owned businesses unless they already have a brand in mind or parse through extensive (if helpful) lists like this one from the Strategist. A clever new feature from Google—the search engine of choice for a lot of shoppers—puts Black-owned products front and center with a new UI that Instagram would envy.

It’s a shoppable artwork by Baltimore-based mixed media artist Amani Lewis made in collaboration with Google Shopping. The artwork integrates products sold by Black businesses. Hover over the painting and Google’s new Black-owned icon, a rotated black heart within a striped orange container, appears over all the shoppable items in the artwork. Users can shop the painting starting today.

There has been a surge in interest in shopping Black-owned brands among consumers following the protests for racial justice throughout last year. Google searches for “Black owned businesses” between January and December 2020 increased 600% compared to the same time span in 2019. Google Shopping is responding by making it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for. That means new features, this artwork included: Earlier this month, the company rolled out a new element in Google’s shopping tab that allows merchants to self-identify as Black-owned businesses (see the tag on the right side of this post, for instance). The attribute is visible on the shopper’s side too, so shoppers can more easily find and support Black-owned businesses. Google is also rolling out a social media campaign in which Black artists including Jade Purple Brown, Reyna Noriega, Pink Lomein, Arrington Porter, Brianna Pippens, and Joshua Kissi will share an artwork on their feed that supports a favorite Black-owned business.

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