Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

Summary: Rumor has it that Google is looking into a "Store View" feature, similar to Street View on Google Maps.


Credit: Search Engine Land

As much as I hate to chime in on a rumor, this one is kind of cool when you consider the potential good and bad that could stem from it. A post on Search Engine Land suggests that Google is gearing up for a "Store View" feature, similar to the street view feature in Google Maps.

The idea is that Google would come into a retail store with its special 360-degree camera - just like it mounted on cars and trikes to capture images of streets and trails - to capture images of... actually, what's so interesting about the inside of a store? The products on the shelves? Why would I need to "see" the cereal aisle at a grocery store from my computer or phone? And wouldn't those products be moved around regularly? Maybe I just get to walk the store aisles, but why would I be interested in a store's layout.

Obviously there could be some very cool interactive retail, e-commerce tools and features that could be built into such a view, especially in niche stores that cater to specialty items. Imagine taking the store view inside a shopping mall and then entering a virtual store where you can buy actual products? That would take holiday shopping to a new level.

Maybe it could be used to give people a virtual tour of museums or other attractions? Somehow it would be great for real estate agents to be able to offer a "house view" of the interior of a home for prospective buyers.

Obviously, some images like that take privacy concerns to a whole new level. I certainly wouldn't want just anyone to be able to take a virtual stroll through the inside of my house.

Clearly, there's a balance that would be needed. But if Google is, in fact, looking into store view imagery, it opens to the door to a number of potential revenue-generating routes to explore - for both Google and advertisers looking for yet another cutting-edge way to set themselves apart from competitors and attract new customers.

Topics: E-Commerce, Browser, Google

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  • Will they keep up with changing inventories

    and remodels?
    John Zern
    • I was thinking the same thing

      Every time I step into Costco they have relocated at least a few of the items I regularly buy. I can't imagine that retailers would want to be locked into permanent placement of their products or have to re-image their store on a regular basis.
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    Given the current complexity of game landscapes, there's no reason that a store couldn't be mapped out and allow gamers (in this case shoppers) to browse, take hold of the objects they want, "hand hold" them to look at more closely, and add them to their shopping cart. Objects within objects within objects (store, shelf, item).
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    I have actually tried this idea. I just couldn't sell it. This is the future
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    Excellent point. It's enough trouble to change inventory
    on a web site.
  • This would be a bad idea...

    I think a better idea would be to simply improve certain aspects of street view in crowded shopping plazas and such when you can't even see what your searching for.

    Store view at the most should be a shot of the store from outside where regular street view could not catch it.
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    I've mailed SAM.See what we did at Can put any fish hook inside the pano a business wants
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    See my previous. look at narita restaurants inside
  • Re: Changing inventories - other alternatives

    Regarding inventory that physically moves, etc., if a business wants to
    make that kind of visual information available to their customers on
    the web, they need to have control of their own imagery. Or work
    with a [i]local[/i] specialist that builds and updates this kind of data.

    RealPlaces ( provides a framework that allows
    that to happen today. It's not as fancy as StreetView in some ways,
    but it allows a business owner to have complete control over exactly
    what portions of a business are displayed, what close-up views are
    available, etc. And the business owner can decide exactly when and
    how they want to change or update the images. For example, they can
    add temporary images with "Sale" information and remove it any time
    they like. This is what a hair salon in Seattle did:

    There are a lot of questions about how this type of imagery will be
    used (and potentially misused), but make no mistake - it's coming.
    Our view at RealPlaces is that you're better off "owning" your own
    imagery, so you are in control, rather than allowing a (mostly
    disinterested) 3rd party like Google to create it for you. -rusty
  • Google Store View

    Remember this article and imagine Google becoming somewhat of an and what happens to pay per click and search.
    joe cibula
  • RE: Google Store View: Imagine the possibilities, concerns

    We hope they are only aiming public places.
    Can't imagine when entering on Google a phone number the search results will give you the full information: The person or business name, address, plus personal images of her/him with a view his house (exterior) from the sky (Google earth), then the interior of his home bedroom, dining room, living room, closets especially his clothing wardrobe. It?s definitely the future.
    Comments, questions email