In June Google started beta testing it’s Local Shopping inventory feature which allows merchants to submit a list of products that they currently have in stock so that users can easily locate these goods when performing a search. They have since received a lot of positive feedback from searchers and have an influx of retailers that want to participate. With all that said, they announced on Wednesday that they were opening up their documentation to potentially become a part of the listings to the public.
Google says that while not every merchant can be accepted at this time, they will keep all the documentation on file for a later date. Applicants need to make sure that their store is listed on Google Places, after that they will need to submit an up-to-date and detailed data feed.
This feature being open to the public will be very beneficial to all Googlers; whether you are looking for something that might be pretty hard to find (like the very specific tea from the Google Merchant blog anecdote) or just the closest place to get your favorite ice cream.