It took a while, but Google has made its big move as a local shopping inventory gatekeeper. The company said Thursday that it will offer mobile device users inventory checks on local stores, allowing them to see if products are available.
The program has already enlisted some key retailers including Sears, Best buy, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and West Elm. Rest assured that local merchants, which increasingly rely on Google to send business their way, will follow suit.
If you see a blue dot, you can tap on the adjacent "In stock nearby" link, and you'll be taken to the seller's page where you'll see whether the item is "In Stock" or has "Limited Availability" near you. You'll also see how far away the stores are from you -- as long as you've enabled My Location or manually specified your location.
Msg#: 4096255 posted 3:24 am on Mar 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
inventory checks on local stores
soon to be followed by
Google offers, discounts and related inventory lists
which is ultimately to be followed by
advertising of other products, data mining and selling of user behavior and a Google interface at every store
It's a good idea in theory but in reality get ready to be monitored and then influenced. Yes, I have a tin foil hat on as I write this. I can see MANY other ways to make money from knowing exactly how many products are where inside a country... and MANY ways to gather information (rfid devices) from multiple sources to gather private information and product history.
Imagine a trip to the dump, you spot a tub of toothpaste, and can quickly figure out that Jane Doe bought it 3 months ago and you can then instantly send her TOOTHPASTE purchase reminders and offers every three months because that is her personal toothpaste cycle... do we need this ?