Google ‘s famous map service yesterday launched more ways to get users engaged with local companies trying to survive the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact.
The improvements to Google Maps were marketed as part of an attempt to support local restaurants and shops. They arrive a week after Facebook launched free resources to build electronic storefronts for merchants on the social network and Instagram.
According to Google Maps senior vice president, Jen Fitzpatrick, Google queries for “how to support small companies” rocketed to an all-time peak in March.
People around the globe are looking for ways to continue to support corner bookstores; local watering holes; beloved dance studios and other businesses that give character to their neighborhoods — even if it’s from a distance, “Fitzpatrick said in a blog post.
New apps at Maps include being able to search on their online accounts by name if local companies have ties to contributions or gift cards.
According to Fitzpatrick, Maps should be able to use the search method in the weeks ahead to locate those local restaurants looking for financial aid to survive the crisis.
Google has procedures to search for legal activities from companies calling out for help, the Maps team said.
Maps recently started encouraging retailers in half a dozen countries to attach connections to make contributions or purchase gift cards in reaction to financial problems created by the pandemic.
Google introduced a further 18 countries yesterday including Italy , Spain and Japan.
Maps is also ramping up tools for customers to adjust to sessions or appointments online.
Merchants that usually deliver services in person are now pivoting to remotely communicate with their clients — from meditation studios providing free courses to salons conducting interactive hair styling lessons;
According to Fitzpatrick, Maps is now increasing the list of restaurant meal delivery providers and trying to make it easy for eateries to decide which service they want to use.
Certain additional features – such as whether curbside or “no-contact” delivery, or dining in, are choices – feature in the free navigation service ‘s restaurant details.