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Google Hits the Streets

Google has long-dominated the online world of search. Google has become so integrated into the essence of searching that “Googling it” is almost exclusively used in lieu of “searching online.”

So how is Google further capitalizing on this strength? By introducing their search engine revolution into the “real world” in a more tangible sense. Currently, Google’s “real world” interactions consist of explaining how you get from point a to point b, or how to find anything online…and then showing you how to get there. But Google is always looking to innovate.

Android is rolling out a new feature that will notify users when they are near a store that has an item for which you have searched. Recently search for a big screen TV? The next time you pass by an electronic retailer, you will get an alert on your mobile device with the picture and pricing of the TV at this nearby location. This seems like a natural extension of what one would want an online search to do. It can be helpful to search for a big screen TV and have a list of websites and stores show up on your screen, but it’s more convenient if those same results can notify you that a store a block away carries your recently searched item, and at what price.


With Google helping to direct people to brick-and-mortar based on product searches, a dynamic pricing structure for your online store only becomes more important. Competing with a brick-and-mortar store on a computer screen is one thing; competing with real-time alerts that push the consumer to go to nearby stores is another matter altogether. If search results no longer stop at the computer screen, knowing–and responding to– the real-time pricing of your products in the market will be an even greater necessity.

The recent Google Hummingbird update has made search results far more responsive to context than specific keywords. As more people search with conversational syntax, as opposed to simply typing “cheap TV,” the context of how you actually list your product will be increasingly important. Products lacking full and accurate descriptions or pictures will no longer appear higher in rankings just for having a lower price.

Now that Google can physically direct consumers right to the doors of nearby brick-and-mortar stores to purchase searched items, you need to give consumers fewer and fewer reasons to leave your website in the first place. Solutions, such as Wiser, that fill in any missing product data will help provide customers with all the information they need to feel comfortable making the purchase on your site.

Contributing Writer: Jack Symington

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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