In the tradition of depending quite heavily on Google for pretty much everything—directions, news, event schedules, weather, information search—comes an attempt to connect online shopping and off line purchasing, with Google Now’s newest addition to its slew of addicting applications and life tools: a feature that notifies you if a product that you searched online is within your physical proximity.
From the May 6th Google Plus post: “You’ve been looking for the perfect pair of hiking boots online, but haven’t gotten around to pulling the trigger. Starting today, if you’re out and about and near a store that carries those boots, you might see a Google Now card showing you the product and price to remind you that you wanted them. Now all you have to do is pop into the store and check if they’re in stock! Just be sure to update your #GoogleSearch app for Android now (http://goo.gl/idgt3y) to get the new reminder.”
There is clamour for more details about this new shopping feature, and Google is yet to clarify some key points, such as the required distance to the actual product before it alerts you to its availability in the store near where you stand, and a lot of netizens are speculating whether this new addition is available outside of the United States. Some are outright indignant at the very thought of it—although it is yet to be determined if there is an option to not use this Google Now feature at all, or if one can temporarily turn it off when not needed.
This rather exciting news for avid online and offline shoppers was released on the same day that Google put out its expansion of the same-day delivery services for Google Shopping Express in more cities in the US, such as Los Angeles and New York, adding to the speculations that the new Google now feature is yet to be made available for other countries.
Now, what does Google get out of this? That remains to be seen, as this new application enhancement seems to prove more useful and profitable for its partner establishments and merchants rather than the web giant.