Welcome to Google Local Shopping

This year, 46% of retail sales will be influenced by the web – but more than 90% of total retail transactions will occur in-store, from small neighborhood boutiques to national chains *. No matter where our users are shopping, we want to help them find your products.

Google Product Search

Google Product Search

Google Product Search

OMG this is amazing. I’m now competing with Google!

Just when I was killing myself with how to market AnotherSocialEconomy, I find this beta service from Google. Do you know what that means? Yes, Google already has all the eyeballs in the universe and yes, they could blow me out of the water at will.

But what that also means is that I no longer have to worry about finding my target audience. You see AnotherSocialEconomy brings retailers’ available supply to consumers’ demand. Pretty vague, eh? Try finding a good mix of AdWords keywords for a local buying network like that. It’s nuts. More importantly, it’s hugely expensive. Most importantly, customer cost of acquisition is astronomical.

With Google out there now, all I have to do is set my Google Alerts and other social media listening tools to “Google Local Shopping” and “Google Product Search”.  I could follow their Buzz  in the wake of their Wave & target my pitches.

For Starters

Not being a Merchant, I highly doubt I’ll ever manage to infiltrate their beta service. No matter. There’s plenty of others out there willing to share their experiences and opinions, such as, Google Local Shopping Tells Customers You Have It In StockGoogle’s Local Shopping Feature Now Open to Small Businesses and Google Local Shopping: cool new tool | OregonLive.com.

And that’s just cherry-picking. Plenty for me to research & plenty for me to post comments on.

Details… details… details…

As Lisa Barone says about Google Local Shopping:

It does seem like a small amount of work to get listed; however, anything you can do to make your products more available and searchable is a good thing.

AnotherSocialEconomy’s barrier for adoption is an email account and optionally, a modern browser with an Internet connection. That’s it! No multiple Merchant Accounts. As a matter of fact, registered Retail Sales Associates could also use their Twitter account / text messaging (SMS), Jabber Instant Messaging (IM) – like Google Talk, as well as, an Androida app. Basically, anyone with a smartphone is literally in business. There’s no XML data feeds to set up. No inventories to maintain.

Just details? Maybe, but the feedback I’ve gotten so far is that small/medium businesses (SMB) are living on smaller and smaller margins.  So the fewer details, the less investment in the service, the greater the return on investment. And vice versa.

AnotherSocialEconomy is not free

Consumers pay a token fee for requesting goods/services – Demand. And Retailers pay a token fee, as well, for proposing their Supply. Why? Well for starters, we hope to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. Less noise going to the Retailers, means higher quality sales leads. Higher quality sales leads means higher quality Proposals going back to the Consumers. Higher quality Proposals, results in greater probability of closing sales.

But wait there’s more…

Ok, so AnotherSocialEconomy isn’t free. But it is another social economy. That means that it shares with its community members through its the Influencer, Reseller and Referrer programs.

Stay tuned

Be sure to come back & visit as I ride in the wake of Google’s Local Shopping wave trying my best to compare our competing services. Please feel free to share your own experiences, opinions and comparative thoughts.