In today’s unprecedented time of COVID-19 pandemic, a newly-released report by the Connected Commerce Council has revealed that nearly one in three small business owners said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or parts of their business. Now even Google has rolled out new features to help businesses get the support they need, adapt their operations and quickly update customers about their latest changes.
Earlier, the tech giant had started enabling merchants in six countries to add support links for donations and gift cards to their business profiles on Google. However, Google has now introduced the support links to merchants in an additional 18 countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan. For this, the American multinational technology company has collaborated with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. As far as gift cards are concerned, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of Google’s eligible partners like Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.
Moreover, those merchants who usually provided in-person services are now finding ways to connect with their customers virtually—from yoga studios offering online classes to salons hosting virtual hair styling classes. For this, Google stated that it is making it easier for customers to discover online classes and book virtual appointments with these new features:
- Get discovered
Merchants who are verified on Google My Business will soon be able to add attributes like “online classes,” “online appointments,” or “online estimates” to their Business Profiles to enable people know how they’re operating. Now, merchants can add one of these attributes using Google My Business, and in the coming weeks it’ll be visible on merchants’ Business Profiles in Search and Maps, added the technology major.
- Online service bookings directly on Google
Google is expanding Reserve with Google to help merchants offer easy appointment bookings for online services so customers can quickly find available times, book a slot, and add it to their Google Calendar—all directly from a merchant’s Business Profile. Furthermore, the tech giant is now expanding this to include bookings for online services, starting with partners like Booksy, Regis, WellnessLiving, and Zooty. Merchants working with one of these partners can offer online bookings directly on Google and share details with customers about how to pay and join the meeting using their preferred video platform.
In addition to these features, Google also helped merchants mark their business as temporarily closed, as well as reopen once they are ready to open their doors.
As most of the people are unable dine in at their favourite restaurants, demand for food delivery and takeout has skyrocketed. Therefore, Google has added more third-party ordering providers to give merchants even more control.
Besides this, Google has added attributes like “curb-side pickup,” “no contact delivery,” and “dine-in” so that restaurants could easily share these important details on their Business Profiles in Search and Maps as people are looking for easy ways to pick up food safely.