The disconnect between online and in-store shopping is shrinking. Most big-box retailers offer pickup as an option, and now Google is making it so local shops can show whether they have an item available right through Search.
Google Search’s New Local Shopping Feature
When you head to the store, it’s nice to know that the item you want is there. Google announced that it is trying to make this happen in more stores by adding the ability to search in-store inventory from home. This doesn’t just apply to big stores like Walmart and Best Buy, as small businesses can also participate.
When you search for a product on Google, you can use the new “in stock” feature to see only nearby stores that have the product available.
In a blog post, Google cited how vital a feature like this could be for small businesses. Google said, “Showing in-store availability is especially valuable for small businesses, helping them attract new local customers.”
Of course, stores will need to make it so Google can see what they have in stock, and Google wasn’t clear how a store would provide their inventory, though the video above shows a small business scanning items into their system to get it to Google.
Google says the new feature is rolling out starting today, so you should be able to start seeing local in-stock items soon.
Other Changes Coming to Google Shopping
Google announced lots of new stuff coming to Shopping in the near future on both iOS and desktop.
The company is making several improvements to Google Lens. For example, soon, the Google app on iOS will receive an option to make images on a webpage searchable. So if you’re looking at a picture of a chair, for example, you could use Lens to help you search the web for that chair and others like it.
Additionally, Google announced that Lens would come to Chrome on desktop. You’ll be able to select images, video, and text content on a website with Lens and see search results right from a webpage.