Google is pushing to help businesses and nonprofits recover from COVID-19, so the company on Wednesday will announce additional support. The company will add $200 million to its annual ad grant commitments, bringing support to $1 billion for nonprofits.
Services for local businesses also will increase such as launching tools to support nearby product information in Google Shopping and the ability to book consultations through Local Services Ads.
Searches for local services such as “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair” continues to rise, increasing by 50% in recent months.
For Google, it has become a goal to make it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the U.S. Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with businesses.
A mobile site in the U.S. and Canada will launch later this month to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster.
Consumer behavior is changing. For example, businesses are limiting in-person store interactions. They also want real-time information on product availability at local stores and the ability to pick up products at curbside. The search terms “in-stock” and “curbside pickup” have surged by more than 70% in recent months.
Beginning today, the Shopping tab will show local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options such as delivery and curbside pickup. This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.
According to an Adobe survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted between June 1 and June 3, 2020, 23% of online consumers prefer to use buy online, pick-up in store or curbside instead of delivery. Adobe expects these services to gain traction even after stores re-open nationwide.
Digital tools became a lifeline to many consumers during the pandemic. Google on Wednesday also introduced Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S.
In Europe, Grow My Store has been a way for small retailers to get quick tips on how to improve their online store and understand how they are doing compared to their peers. Businesses just need to enter their website URL into the tool and within minutes they will get a custom report.
This week, Google also will introduce Local Opportunity Finder, where owners only need to enter the name of the business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to the Business Profile on Google.