UK-based Google partner Gillissa has been given the go-ahead to roll out Google’s new Blue Dot feature, which enables UK consumers to run instant checks, via their mobile, for the availability of individual products in nearby stores, providing what could prove an invaluable lifeline for hardcore, last-minute Christmas shoppers, writes Martin Conway.
The Blue Dot application, which has been used successfully by US retailer Best Buy, enables the users of iPhone, Android and Palm Pixi handsets to search for products in their immediate location, as pinpointed by their device's GPS signal.
Gillissa managing director, Richard Wood, comments: “The Blue Dot feature effortlessly displays how far away each shop is from the customer and it can even provide directions to the shop, saving time and making it much easier to find the product you want to buy, exactly when you want it. With Christmas just around the corner, it is a really attractive service for UK retailers.”
A range of internet and mobile tools are available for retailers to automatically upload details of thousands of in-store products, which then become accessible to Blue Dot users on the move, simply by entering Google.com on their mobiles, clicking the ‘More’ tab, selecting ‘Shopping’ and then entering a search by product name. Results inform users whether items are “in stock nearby”, or affected by “limited availability”, sparing them the frustration of wild goose chases and multiple phone calls, and enabling them to hit the right shop at the right time.