Google is taking its Street View technology -- which allows users to view 360-degree street images when clicking on locations in Google Maps -- inside buildings.
"Building on the Google Art Project, which took Street View technology inside 17 acclaimed museums, this project is another creative implementation of Street View technology, to help businesses as they build their online presence," said a company spokesperson to the BBC (Oct. 28).
Below is a video explaining some of the "Google Street View Inside" details:
According to the BBC report, the inital rollout is limited to London, Paris and a number of cities in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. Google will be inviting highly-searched businesses (e.g. restaurants, hotels, shops, gyms and auto repair shops) to request a visit by its photographers.
"However, it has ruled out big-brand chains for the time being," the report added. Areas where personal privacy are critical, such as hospitals and lawyers' offices, have also been excluded.
The Benefit for Retailers:
Being able to show off their store locations. I suppose the drawbacks would be if your location sucks, it will not show well and it might drive people elsewhere. As more and more retailers get on board, it will likely be expected that retailers are available in this format.
Drawbacks for Retailers:
As I mentioned, having a crappy store design may look bad and drive away customers. This is going to further drive customer preferences based on the in-store experience.
The Importance of Offering a Sweet In-Store Experience:
Retailers can take advantage of their cool store design to drive their brand and increase foot traffic. This will be all about looking good and appealing to prospective buyers. These, of course, are things that our XQ Interactive Retail platform can help you do.
With indoor Google Street View, retailers have another way to promote their store brand and allow consumers to find them. This gives them a way to create a competitive advantage by showcasing the interior of their stores. This is much better than simply showing up in a phone directory because buyers can check them out visually.