March 11, 2010 | by Chris Smith
Who really wants to call a store to see if an item is in stock? Personally, I can’t stand the process of finding something online that I want to purchase at my local Best Buy or Staples and then calling them to see if said product is in stock.
Google Product Search mobile is changing that by showing mobile searchers if a particular product is in stock at select retailers.When a user searches Product Search there will be a blue dot next to the product indicating that it is in stock at the retailer. Users can click on the “In Stock Nearby” link and be taken to the sellers page to see whether they have a good amount left or if they are limited.
There are a small handful of partners on board, which include Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and West Elm, but Google is opening up the service to other businesses that want this functionality. They said that if your business wants to get involved that you should update your Local Business Center and Product Search data and then fill out a small form to see if you can participate.
This may be an excellent way for local small businesses to have an advantage on larger, regional chains. If local businesses add their stocking data to the Google database and are aggregated in the same search as larger retail outlets I feel that many consumers may choose the “little” guy when making their purchases, especially if the prices are comparable. This could be a huge win for small businesses and of course a huge win for mobile consumers.
Via [Google Merchant Blog]