Physical distancing requirements implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 have had a major impact on retail outlets, with many consumers now shifting to eCommerce and online shopping options to avoid any unnecessary exposure.
But some things you likely still need, or want, to buy in-store, and in those cases, many people still want to limit the amount of time they spend shopping. Which is why Google added new listing options on local store searches back in May, like 'curbside pick-up', which helps shoppers arrange to get their items without having to go actually into the business.
Now, Google's adding some more listing options on this front, with more specific listings of available items in your local stores, and more detail on opening times and delivery options.
First off, on item listings - now, in listings on Google's Shopping tab, users can select the 'Nearby' filter at the top of the page and view all the product options that are available in their local stores, which they can pick up that day.
Google has offered similar filters for some time, but these new improvements display, more specifically, which items you can find at your local outlets.
Google's also added more detail to its 'Nearby' listings.
"You can check each business’s opening and closing hours, as well as how far each store is from you. You’ll also get a preview of the items they sell that match what you searched for, with a carousel you can scroll through to see pictures and prices of the available products."
Again, a lot of this info was already available in different forms, but Google has now made it much easier to get all of the relevant detail on a single page, improving its shopping search and discovery process, while there's also a click-to-call option on every business page, where such data is available.
That could provide a major boost for local businesses.
So how do you ensure your Google search listings display all the relevant information to searchers in your area?
The base information for these display listings comes from your Google My Business profile, while product availability is based on inventory data uploaded through Google Merchant Center. By ensuring all the relevant information is connected to Google via these sources, your display listings will help local searchers connect with the info they need to make more informed purchase decisions, before they leave the house.
All of Google's new listing options, including curbside pick-up, are available in your Google My Business settings. And with shopping habits changing, it's worth ensuring your info is up to date.
Definitely worth noting as we head into the last few months of the year.