Best Time to Go to the Store? Ask Google

Leveraging mobile location data keeps getting better.

Even though I have a Garmin GPS in my car and various mapping apps on my iPhone, I always turn to my Android phone for Google Navigation to gauge traffic and estimated arrival time.

The app automatically re-routes me around traffic jams and factors in unavoidable traffic in its final arrival estimates.

This means that while sitting in traffic, I don’t become later by the minute, since that’s already built-in to the calculation.

Google is now getting more creative in using phone-movement technology to make it easier for shoppers to find the best time to go to the store.

Google rolled out a nifty little mobile search feature recently that provides the overall traffic in any store by day and time.

If interested in avoiding crowded stores, you can see the best days to go and on each day, what are the best times.

While hardly an earth-shattering advancement, it’s a practical feature that adds yet one more data piece to improve a shopping experience.

Since the large majority of consumers plan to shop in physical stores, the mobile capability can help make the trip more enjoyable. Or, at the least, shoppers know in advance what to expect when they get to the store.

Just as apps like Yelp and Foursquare help inform a decision process by adding content to their location-based services, Google search adds yet one more dimension to the shopping trip decision.

It could be that one, little thing that impacts how busy a retailer becomes at any given moment.

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