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Google is making several tweaks to its shopping-related search results to make it easier to find the products you want locally and choose the pickup method you are most comfortable with. 

As the country gradually returns to our normal in-store shopping habits, many are making adjustments to ensure the safest trips to the store. 

For example, Google says that searches for “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” have increased tenfold over the past few months and remain heightened. 

Making this more difficult, many businesses remain closed after mandatory shutdowns have passed, while others are struggling with inventory due to shipping disruptions around the world. 

With all this in mind, Google has announced three significant updates to shopping search results which make it easier for shoppers to know who’s open, what’s in stock, and how they can most safely make a purchase. 

Filter By What’s Available Locally

When looking for a specific type of product, searchers can now limit their search results to only products available nearby. 

This can be done in two different ways. 

  • Users can tap on the “Nearby” filter when looking at results within the Shopping tab.
  • Users can add “near me” to product searches to automatically find products available nearby.

“Want to see an item in person before purchasing, or can’t wait for shipping and delivery?

Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a new laptop for working from home, a baby jacket for fall or a grill for backyard barbeques, Google makes it easy for you to see what’s available locally.”

Compare Local Hours, Locations, and Inventory

Making a trip to the store only to discover they are out of what you are looking for or the store is closed was already frustrating before the COVID-19, epidemic. 

To help solve this issue, Google is making it easier to compare the stock of local shops and see which businesses are open now. 

These details will be shown when searching “[product] near me” in a carousel of images and pricing details.

Find Convenient and Safe Pickup

Since the onset of the pandemic, Google has been prioritizing retailers who offer safe pickup options including contactless delivery or curbside pickup. 

Now, the company is introducing new ways to find safe purchase options with new labels in shopping searches. 

Along with these details, the listings will include a direct link to Maps directions so you can quickly and easily find the stores nearby. 

At the same time, Google emphasizes that calling to speak with someone is the most accurate way to check the inventory of products in real-time.

 

A report by the US Commerce Department shows e-commerce sales in the US shot up 14.1 percent over the past year while overall retail sales have only climbed one percent year-over-year.

In the second quarter of this year, US e-commerce sales jumped to $83.9 billion in the second quarter compared to Q2 2014, even after adjusting for seasonality, according to the report published Monday.

In total, 7.2 percent of the estimated $1,171.5 billion in US retail sales transactions took place online during the second quarter, rising from 7.0 percent in the first quarter of the year and 6.3 percent a year ago.

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When not accounting for seasonal retail variations, the Commerce Department estimates US retail e-commerce sales racked up to $78.8 billion, jumping 5.1 percent from Q1 and 14.4 percent year-over-year. When not accounting for seasonality, the report finds e-commerce sales drove approximately 6.6 percent of all retail sales.

The data was based on a sampling of around 10,000 US retail companies, excluding food services, and may have included firms without an e-commerce presence.