Google Goes Local; Retailers Should Take Heed
By Audrey Gray
Passé are the days when a shopping trip began with a fat marker and the phone book. Now, when a customer is ready to purchase a big ticket item, they'll often start off with an internet search, just to get a sense of their options. And where do they begin online? As of August, 2005, 37 percent of Americans were turning to Google and 29 percent to Yahoo (Source: comScore Media Metrix).
In early October, Google took it's new "Local" search feature out of the Beta testing ground and merged the service with maps. That means now when someone types in a request, say "electronics dealer," along with their zip code, Google will spit out a list of CE dealers in the searcher's neighborhood, along with street maps to the dealers' front doors.