Holiday shoppers don’t have to go directly to stores if they want to do window shopping anymore, thanks to “Google Maps Business View” people can do a bit of window shopping and browse the inside of their favorite stores in the comfort of their home.
Google rolled out a new feature earlier this year that allows users to view the insides of businesses, giving them a chance to have a look at what businesses or shops are like inside and what they have to offer – using a 360º virtual tour powered by Street View technology.
Essentially this means that people can now window shop at their favorite stores straight from their computer.
In a recent blog post, Google product manager Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, wrote:
“So much of the fun of holiday shopping is seeing the lavish, seasonal displays in the windows of shops and department stores as you pass by. Starting today, with Google Maps Business View, you can see decked out displays in New York and London—without braving the cold weather, lugging bags around or fighting for sidewalk space with fellow shoppers. Now grab your virtual reindeer because we’re off to our holiday window tour!”
“And finally, if you’re doing some last minute shopping, you can prepare for a trip by taking a look inside the stores in Google Maps. Business View, provides virtual tours of thousands of retail shops around the world, whether you’re headed to Old Navy in San Francisco or Benetton in Russia. Just look for the “See Inside” marker on Maps, Search and Google+, which lets you virtually explore your holiday shopping destination.”
Google is inviting businesses to take part in “Google Maps Business View”. On its website it tells business owners that they can use the feature to “invite customers inside with a virtual tour of your business on Google Search, Google Maps and Google+.”
So far a number of retailers and businesses have jumped on board and are using the feature to allow people to have a look at what they’re offering without having to come directly to the store.
Retailers that are currently using the feature include Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and the UK stores Selfridges and Liberty London.
See how businesses across the world are using Business View to achieve their goals: