Google Maps launches four new features to improve the local shopping experience for customers, which in turn can lead to more sales for businesses.
In addition, Google has published statistics related to local shopping during the holiday season. This includes the most popular times to visit certain categories of businesses, and more.
These are the new features that are now available in Google Maps worldwide.
4 New Google Maps Features
1. Area Busyness
Customers can now see how busy a particular area is before they get there, which will help those who prefer to avoid large crowds.
The new feature, called Area Busyness, combines live busyness trends from individual businesses that are in close proximity to each other.
To access Area Busyness data, open Google Maps and tap on an area to see how busy it is at different times of day.
Google Maps will show you how busy the area is currently, and how busy it’s estimated to be throughout the day.
Last year’s data indicates that the busiest stores for holiday gift shopping are places like Kay Jewelers, Bath & Body Works, and Barnes & Noble.
Maps searches for these places increased 100% from November to December in 2020.
Shopping malls tend to be the least busy on Tuesday evening, with the most popular time being Saturday afternoon.
2. Directory Tab
Google Maps is expanding expanding the Directory tab globally on Android and iOS for all airports, malls, and transit stations.
The Directory tab shows you which stores are in a building, and helps with locating airport lounges, car rentals, parking lots, and more.
If you’re in a large shopping mall, for example, the Directory tab will display a list of businesses and show you if they’re open, what their star rating is, and what floor each business is on.
3. Grocery Shopping
Google Maps piloted a feature earlier this year that allows customers to order groceries for pickup.
Grocery shopping in Google Maps is now expanding to over 2,000 store locations in 30+ states throughout the US.
Customers can utilize the feature to order groceries from Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs, and Marianos.
After placing the order, Google Maps will track the order status and allow customers to share their ETA so the store knows when they’ll arrive.
Google estimates that people who use this feature typically wait less than five minutes for their order to be ready for pickup.
4. More Information About Restaurants
Google Maps now displays more information when customers look up local restaurants, which is all based on information provided by other customers.
When customers leave reviews they can now share details about the restaurant’s price ranges, and whether they offer amenities such as outdoor seating, delivery, curbside pickup, and more.
The information provided in customer reviews will be shown in the restaurant’s main listing.
Featured Image: Screenshot from blog.google/products/maps/, November 2021.