Google Maps has increasingly gained importance on mobile devices, as user demand for nearby insights on where to eat, shop or be entertained continues to grow. With the addition of photos to Google Maps, users get more emerged into the location they were potentially going to visit. Businesses have had to accept that “eyes” are now everyone via their mobile devices and every second of the customer experience needs to be top-notch or they may risk a bad review or post.
Now Google has announced that they will add a feature to Google Maps on Android devices first, furthering the search experience for a potential customer. A Google Moderator released the below statement on the Local Guides Forum this past week:
“Today, Local Guides on Android have the chance to add the first-ever videos to millions of places. The possibilities are really exciting: Take viewers on a mini tour of a store you love, or show the bustling scene at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. You can even do a quick review where you showcase a place’s best item or offer tips for visitors”
Again, Google continues to put the user first – giving the customer a deeper look into the business – not just from a still photo – but now a video that captures the environment, staff, fresh food, other customers, etc. The Local Guides earn points when they use a video, so consumer video and data will build quickly. This can change the potential flow of business if a customer is not satisfied with what they view on video, find a location they deem as better, or perhaps feel like the video they saw does not live up to all the “hype” they heard via word-of-mouth.
As advances in search results have grown, so has the intelligence of the average user. We live in a digital era where it is widely known that reviews and photos can be somewhat staged or internally crafted to paint a slightly different picture. Have you ever gotten to a place and thought to yourself “It’s not what an envisioned, but I am already here so I’ll stay.” Imagine erasing that customer completely and having people funnel to exactly where they want to be based on previous research. Would your businesses revenue increase or decrease? For some, it will decrease – these evolutions by Google are tipping the power scale in favor of the customer while putting more pressure on the business to be as perfect as possible.
If you have an Android device, check out local videos the next time you are on Google Maps and see if your perception or buying choice changes at all. This video addition is important to monitor, especially if or when it is expanded to all devices.