Google to Offer Local Retail Store Search Information

By Susan J. Campbell November 16, 2010

Google offline seems like an oxymoron by the Internet giant is recognizing that revenue opportunities exist in both realms – so why not leverage its power wherever possible?

According to an Information Week report, Google is working with more than 70 retailers to provide product-search services to shoppers looking for the right gift. This effort will help shoppers determine whether the gift they need is in stock at a nearby store.

Google retail partners include national brands like Best Buy and Williams-Sonoma. To provide this service, the retailers have agreed to allow Google to search their inventory for items. This is definitely a smart move given the benefit to the retailers when their sales increase.

As it works to extend this service, Google is still seeking additional retailers. Those companies using retail software from Oracle, JDA or Epicor can work with the software companies to easily share local product data electronically with Google.

The search giant is expecting to roll out two features that are designed to help people to narrow their search. One feature will display product search results of the brands other people are viewing online. The other feature will organize results into sub-categories to make the search easier for the consumer.

A mobile shopping app has also been released by Google. Known as the Google Shopper, this app enables consumers to use their mobile phones to search for products. Google Shopper 1.3 is the latest version and adds search filters such as “price” and “brand” to refine searches.

Google has been putting significant efforts into growing local services, especially through mobile devices. According to Senior VP Jonathan Rosenberg, the annual run-rate for mobile advertising had reached $1 billion.

Place Search is a geo-centric format for search results started last month by Google. This particular service organizes results around a specific location and then presents them as pins on a map. This service could be useful in finding stores near a person’s location – extending the benefit of the Google service even further.

In other Google news, TechZone360 reported yesterday that Google Calendar was down, leaving users without access to their daily list of appointments. Google Calendar users were apparently scrambling to figure out where they are supposed to be, since they couldn’t access their daily calendar page.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TechZone360 and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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