In the past few months, particularly post March 25 nationwide lockdown, every aspect of life has been forced onto the web. With most users becoming more comfortable with online purchases, Google’s pilot program in India, to integrate its search engine with an inventory of offline shops makes sense.
Offline stores will be able to list their available products in realtime on Google’s search page with details such as price and multiple product variants of the searched item. Potential customers can take an informed decision based on these search results and zero-in on the best offers and the store nearest to them.
Most searches for products are on Google and the search engine giant is keen on expanding its global ‘What’s In A Store’ in India and offset the established players like Amazon and Flipkart.
It is a win-win for the consumer, vendor partner, and Google if it receives wide acceptance in the country. Recently Jio had launched its pilot program in Mumbai which leverages Whatsapp and offline grocery stores.
Online is the way forward
This venture was revealed by two senior industry executives, who hinted at a pan-India rollout of the same in the near future. The company is banking on consumers switching to digital shopping post-Covid-19 market scenario. There is already a ‘pre-order and delivery’ option on the search page as per the executives.
Features such as ‘chat with consumers’ and ‘seek an appointment before visiting the store’ options on the search page itself are also on the anvil, according to the executives at a recently held joint workshop by Google and Apple in India.
Although the exact launch date is unavailable, Lenskart and Sangeetha Mobiles in Bengaluru, are reportedly part of the pilot program. Lenskart co-founder Amit Chaudhary was quoted as saying, with this Google Search page implementation, consumers can access products before they come to the store and make an informed purchase.
Google’s What’s in store’ is already up and running across 14 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, Brazil, and parts of Europe.
Via Economic Times