Google (News - Alert) is set to expand its search capabilities by providing local search results for products available nearby – and will be as detailed as showing which local retailers have that particular item in stock.
By searching Google on your smartphone, users tap on the ‘in stock nearby’ link next to blue dots that show up for some of the search results, according to Google officials. The U.S.-based functionality is available for an iPhone (News - Alert), a Palm webOS phone, or any device using the Android mobile operating system.
The “in stock nearby” link is said to connect to the seller’s page, where the retailer near you notes whether the given item is “in stock” or has “limited availability.”
According to a Google blog post Thursday, Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering, demonstrated last December a preview version of Product Search for mobile with local inventory, which lets you see right in your search results whether items are in stock at nearby stores.
“We’re happy to announce that as of today, if you’re searching for a product that is sold by participating retailers, including Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, or West Elm, you can just look for the blue dots in the search results to see if it’s available in a local store,” according to the blog post co-authored by Product Managers Paul Lee and Yury Pinsky.
Google also has forms online so other retailers can become part of the program.
Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony (News - Alert)", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison