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Google Business View: A New Way to Shop

Don Parsons / October 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM / News

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a business looks like? Ever been walking through Google’s street view and wish you could see more about a place? Well, now with Google Business View you can!

Google’s Street View technology has always had a lot of potential – just go walk down a street on it in a city you’ve never been to and find yourself knowing more about that city than you ever did. Still a lot of times, the fact that Google stopped at the door was frustrating and didn’t let people see into the businesses and the world that was around them.

Google Business View is an attempt to both monetize the Street View technology and change that. Now, companies can hire a Google Certified photographer who will come in and take shots of the business and then upload them onto Google and build the 360 degree virtual tour. Google Business View, also requires that you be on Google+ and promotes their social media/sharing platform in that method. Photographers who are Google certified can be found all around the globe.

With the panoramic photography used, and the ability to zoom in on anything in the store, customers can go around and get a look at the place without ever being there. They can see the prices, the styles, your options and so many things that company’s wish that prospective clients could see to get them to come in the door.

Google has done several case studies on the results of businesses that have incorporated Business View into their website. While it is obvious that Google would only report on ones that were very favourable, they are still worth examining for information.

Leekes – an independent home furnishing dealer in the UK – wanted to engage clients on a digital level but with 45 departments, 2 floors and 185 000sq/ft that was proving a challenge. They brought in a photographer and got the shoot done in a few hours – and a week later the business view was published on Google. They claim that visitors are up 20% this year (20 000) because of Business View.

NYC Restaurant Week – The 21st annual NYC Restaurant Week had 294 participants in 2013 and decided that they needed a way to get more information on the restaurants online for consumers. 55% of the businesses participated in getting Business View for the Restaurant Week and results seemed to show in reservations. Restaurants with Business View averaged 30 % higher click through to reservations, and 84% of 1300 surveyed customers (methodology unknown) said it played a factor in their choice.

Business View does seem likely to have impact on how consumers choose where to visit. Seeing processes, places, prices, menu’s all from real pictures in a virtual tour is something that tends to stick with people.

You can learn more about it on Google’s website.


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.