Google Search features new tool for pandemic shopping


Strolling around town and suddenly realize you want to buy a trombone?

No problem. A new Google feature gives you an overview of items you can buy near your physical location so you won’t be trombone-less for long. 

The feature, announced by Google on Wednesday, works as follows. Enter a search phrase into Google on your phone, tap Shopping, and then select the Nearby filter on the top left. You’ll get a list of items available in stores near your location, together with prices, reviews, and other information.


Handy.

Google says that an increased number of searches for terms such as “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” amid the Covid-19 pandemic is what motivated these new features.

Google also highlighted a couple of other features that could be helpful during the pandemic: Now you can see whether curbside pickup or in-store pickup are available, as well as opening and closing hours and distance to each store.

Finally, Google also provides a link to call the business with the item that you need, as well as a navigation link to get there quickly. 

Of course, to have all of this information, Google needs help from merchants, so the company has invited businesses to create and update their Google My Business profile (or upload their local product feed through Google Merchant Center) with store hours, locations, products, and pickup options. 





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