Friday, September 11, 2009 at 2:15 PMA few days ago, a friend of mine needed to get a protective sleeve for her brand-new laptop. She found an online retailer, but didn't want to damage her laptop while waiting for the sleeve to ship. So she used Google Maps to find the retailer's nearest store location, and got her sleeve the same day. She's not alone - most shopping still occurs in-store, where you can interact with items in person, pick up bulky products, and avoid shipping charges. So to help users find merchants who have store locations, we've launched the "nearby stores" feature in Google Product Search. For retailers that have stores close by, users will be able to get more information on the nearest store locations. They can then call a store to make sure the item they want is in stock and buy that last-minute birthday gift - or that laptop sleeve.
We're going to continue refining this feature in the next few weeks, so check it out and make sure you submit your local store information if you haven't already - the instructions are in this blog post. Additionally, please consider submitting the online only attribute, to let us know which items you only sell online and do not stock in stores.