The surge in ecommerce, and shoppers wanting maximum convenience without crowds during the pandemic, has led to a dramatic increase in buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) capabilities and other in-store fulfillment options. The trend of consumers preferring in-person product pick up hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google, which recently announced changes to Google’s Shopping results that will improve users’ ability to find nearby products and shop safely and locally.
Why Is Google Making Changes To Shopping Results To Emphasize Nearby Products?
In Google’s blog post about the Google Shopping search updates, the company notes that they saw “searches for ‘curbside pickup; and ‘safe shopping’ increase tenfold in the last few months,” indicating that consumers want to support local businesses that offer convenience and a way to shop safely during the pandemic. The new Google Shopping search updates provide consumers the most up-to-date information about a retailer (store hours, delivery options, product availability), which helps retailers connect with consumers who want to shop for nearby products confidently and with a minimum of friction or frustration.
What Are The Changes Google Is Making To Shopping Results To Prioritize Nearby Products?
Google has made three updates to improve Shopping results on Google Search, including:
- Enhanced Filtering: Enhanced filtering within Google Search Shopping results lets users see what is available where. Google explained “Google makes it easy for you to see what’s available locally. Simply tap the Shopping tab, and select the ‘nearby’ filter at the top of the page or add ‘near me’ to your search to view product options available from stores located near you.”
- Map View With Product Comparison: The map view and product comparison includes hour, inventory and location information displayed on a new UI feature that Google is calling a “local stores card,” according to Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land. Adding, the Google Search Shopping local stores card is “constructed of local inventory data from merchant feeds.” The local stores cards are displayed carousel style for easy scrolling. And, because Google is relying on the most up-to-date information from Google merchants and Google My Business (GMB) listings, only information Google is confident is accurate will be displayed in “nearby” searches.
- Pick-Up Options: Nearby search results now include pick-up options like “curbside pick-up,” “in-store pickup” and “delivery,” so shoppers have the most information to safely make their purchases their preferred ways, while staying local.
How Do Recent Changes To Google Shopping Search Results Impact Digital Marketers?
The simple, easily accessed updates to Google Shopping offer new opportunities for retailers to get in front of consumers who want to shop in their neighborhoods. For multi-unit retailers, local targeting can help leverage the growth of ecommerce while addressing consumer concerns about shipping costs, delivery times and product availability, especially heading into the holidays. With the new Google Shopping features, it’s essential that retailers keep their merchant feeds as up to date as possible, enabling Google to provide accurate information and drive local foot traffic.
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