Google Introduces Shopping Features Focused on Pickup

Shoppers can now look for local stores using a special "Nearby" filter.

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Need to Know

  • Google Search results in Shopping will now display the availability of curbside and in-store pickup.
  • The new “Nearby” filter will allow shoppers to find local stores and support local businesses.
  • Participating businesses can now update their Google My Business profile to make such information available.

Analysis

Google is continuing to make digital shopping more seamless for both businesses and consumers who are adjusting their behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic, recently announcing that its Search results displayed within Shopping will now display the availability of curbside or in-store pickup.

Google has also made it possible for shoppers to see where items are available near them, adding a “Nearby” filter to its search results, and making it possible for consumers to locate local stores simply by adding the phrase “near me” when they search for a product or item. Additionally, Google Shopping will now offer the ability for shoppers to click to call a store directly from its Google listing, to check to ensure products are in stock, and will also link out directly to navigation, so shoppers can immediately map a route to the store or business.

Writing in a blog post on Google’s website, Google Shopping’s Product Manager, Swati Trehan, said the new features are an effort on the company’s part to “help take away some of the unknowns when it comes to shopping in person,” noting that Google has seen searches for “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” increase tenfold over the last few months.

“Shopping in person comes with new challenges these days, but luckily stores are making it easier to adjust,” Trehan wrote. “We’ll keep working to provide more helpful answers to your shopping questions and needs so that you can safely and easily pick up what you’re looking for while supporting the stores in your community.”

Businesses looking to engage Google’s new Shopping features can create or update a Google My Business profile, or upload their local product feed through Google Merchant Center.

The new features from Google Shopping are just the latest tools and announcements from the technology company aiming to optimize its retail and e-commerce-focussed experience for both businesses and consumers, as digital shopping spiked in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, Google ditched merchant fees, in an effort to enable more businesses to use Google Shopping; in June, it launched Promoted Pins, a Maps-based effort to allow businesses to better distinguish themselves when users are browsing Google Maps. In July, it unveiled Shoploop, a new video-shopping platform that exposes users to new products from trusted reviewers in short, 90-second video clips.

Most notably, in July, the company announced a series of updates to its Ads platform to eliminate what Google terms the “messy middle” of e-commerce. Those updates included personalized responsive search ads and the ability for retailers to highlight time-sensitive deals and sales in Ads while also spotlighting features such as fast or free shipping. The company has also partnered with UPS subsidiary Ware2Go for a new Google Shopping integration that will display “Free and Fast” shipping options within Google Ads.

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