One of the worst parts of online shopping is trying to figure out whether an item of clothing will actually fit. While some brands have begun hiring models with more diverse body types, the process still often requires a leap of faith—or making a lot of returns.

Google announced Tuesday that it’s rolling out a new way to tackle the fit guessing problem using generative artificial intelligence. Brands that run ads for women’s or men’s shirts will now have the ability to show shoppers how the products look on dozens of different real models, without taking additional photos. (Other types of apparel items aren’t eligible yet, and Google didn’t share a timeline for when they might be added.)

The new feature means that typing in “eyelet crop top” on Google’s search engine, for example, could return an ad with a clickable gallery that shows what an item looks like on women with different skin tones and body types. The technology is intended to give people browsing for clothes a better idea of how a shirt will look on someone who resembles them or the person they’re shopping for, Matt Madrigal, vice president of merchant shopping at Google, told WIRED in an interview.

The new ad format is an extension of the free virtual try-on tool that Google released to brands last year in organic search results. It works by using AI to combine product images from the merchant with existing photos of models and is an early example of Google adapting its generative AI technology to serve its core online advertising business.

Google says brands don’t need to share detailed dimensions of the clothes with the company for it to generate new images of models wearing them. That makes the try-on tool easier for advertisers to use but also means it can’t replace an old-fashioned tape measure if you want to know for certain whether that crop top will be long enough for your torso.

The try-on ad format is one of a number of new generative AI shopping tools announced today at Google’s annual event for advertisers, Marketing Live. Google has spent the past year experimenting with ways generative AI could enhance its lucrative online ads business, which raked in $61.7 billion in revenue last quarter, up 13 percent from the same period in the year prior.

Shopping has become a focus area for Google as some merchants shift their ad dollars to Amazon, which saw its ad revenue increase a whopping 24 percent last quarter from the same period in 2023. Google is also facing competition from TikTok, as younger consumers increasingly use the app as a product search engine that can quickly surface videos of people trying on items and testing them for their followers.

One of the new ad formats Google announced today will allow brands to link short-form videos they made—or ones they hired creators to film—to their advertisements in Google’s search engine. AI-generated text summaries of the clips will be included below. “I’ve got three Gen Z-ers at home, and watching them shop, it’s very video-based,” said Madrigal.

Google also launched a tool that allows companies to create entirely new, AI-generated product images based on photos from earlier marketing campaigns and pictures that represent their brand identity. For example, a home goods brand could upload a picture of one of its candles and an image of a beach, then ask Google to “put the candle on a beach that looks like this one under some palm trees.”

Shannon Smyth, the founder of a perfume and body-care company called A Girl’s Gotta Spa, said she began using Google’s AI image tools last year when the company first began rolling them out as part of software called Product Studio. Initially, Google only allowed merchants to swap the backgrounds on existing product photos and make small tweaks, like increasing the resolution.

“It coincided with struggling to keep up on our social channels with professional-looking photography, and as finances became more strapped I decided to give it a try,” Smyth says. She uses it to generate images for use on social media, in an email newsletter, and on her Amazon store. (Google put Smyth in touch with WIRED to discuss her experiences with its AI products.)

Smyth said Google’s AI tools save time and have gotten better as she has continued using them. “I admit, I was frustrated at first if it would generate images without shadows or reflections, or have an unidentifiable object in the photo,” she explained. “I’ve found that as I give feedback on every image, those issues begin to get resolved.”

Google is trying to help advertisers create compelling imagery without needing to spend as much of their time and budget on graphic designers, photographers, set designers, and models. That may not be good news for those workers, and if the product images aren’t accurate, shoppers could be left disappointed. But Google hopes AI imagery will make ads more engaging and draw more clicks—boosting its revenue.

Yet the company and its competitors may also be simply helping retailers avoid paying for expensive software like Photoshop or spending so much on creative services. It’s not clear how many customers will necessarily feel compelled to advertise more. Smyth said her company doesn’t purchase ads on Google, despite how much she appreciates Product Studio.

AI-generated advertising is increasingly becoming a fixture of the internet. Earlier this month, Meta began giving advertisers on Facebook and Instagram the ability to generate new versions of existing product photos using AI, after previously offering just AI-generated backgrounds. Meta and Google also allow advertisers to generate marketing copy for their ads.

Amazon announced a similar beta image-generation tool last fall that can also create backgrounds for product photos. Instead of advertising a garden hose against a plain white backdrop, it allows brands to create, say, a scene of a backyard with a garden and trees—no actual dirt required.

The looming question is whether consumers will find AI-generated ads off-putting, if they notice them in the first place. Some fashion brands, including Levi’s and the dressmaker Selkie, have faced backlash from customers after they announced they were experimenting with artificial intelligence. But for many smaller ecommerce companies, the potential benefits of using AI may outweigh the risks.

“Let’s face it, small businesses are crumbling like a house of cards. We’re barely hanging on,” said Smyth. “It has helped me to stay top of mind to customers and potential customers visually. I’m pretty confident my aesthetic would’ve tanked or I would’ve abandoned many social channels without it as an option.”