Today is HUGE for both shoppers and business owners.
Google has just released a feature for users of iPhones, Palm WebOS phones, or Android-powered devices. (Google’s blog post.) As of right NOW, if you do a Google search on your phone for a product, you will see a blue dot if that item is available at a store near you! On that screen you will also see if the item has full or limited availability, the price, which stores near you have the item, the distance those stores are from you at that exact moment, the phone number of the store, and a link to get directions with Google Maps.
This is a sort-of mashup of the “Around Me” app and Google search, with the added feature of the blue dot item-specific information.
Currently, this feature will only show up for items available at Sears, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and West Elm. But it’s only DAY ONE! Surely you can see where this is going.
Now for you as business owner, this is even more amazing. You can add your own products, using the Google Merchant Center, so that YOUR products in YOUR store show up in these searches, both in desktop searches and mobile ones.
Add to that the fact that people can already rate, review and comment about your business & your products using Yelp or 4square. Further proving the point that the direction the internet is taking is Local, Social and Mobile.
These are exciting times.