Google Maps will show price ranges, based on user contributions, for restaurants in the U.S., Google announced Tuesday. The company also announced an expansion of Pickup with Google Maps as well as Area Busyness (live busyness trends for neighborhoods) and an expansion of indoor directories to include all airports, malls and transit stations globally for its Maps mobile app.
Why we care. Showing price ranges at a glance brings a feature Yelp users are familiar with over to Google, which will help it compete as a local reviews and discovery platform. Restaurant owners might be able to use this information to assess how customers feel about their (and their competitors’) prices, but there’s not much they can do about the ranges listed on their profile as they’re based on user contributions.
Although Pickup with Google Maps has grown significantly since its launch, it is still not available for the vast majority of businesses. “People who use pickup with Google Maps typically wait less than five minutes for their groceries,” Google said in the announcement, but that figure is likely to change as this feature continues to roll out.
Price ranges in restaurant profiles. Earlier this year, Google added more fields to its reviews, enabling users to add price range, meal and dining options. It is now clear that Google is using that price range data to add more information to business profiles. Price ranges are shown in $10 increments and the number of users who’ve reported prices is also listed.
Pickup with Google Maps is now available in over 2,000 store locations. Also launched earlier this year as a pilot program, Pickup with Google Maps now includes more Kroger Family stores, such as Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs and Marianos. In total, this program is now available at over 2,000 store locations in more than 30 states.
Pickup with Google Maps allows customers to input order details into Google Maps to facilitate the pickup process. Google then notifies the customer when it’s time to leave to pick up their order and shares the arrival time with the store.
Introducing Area Busyness. Similar to the live busyness trends that have been available for years, Area Busyness is a chart that displays how busy an area gets at different times of the day. This feature will roll out globally ahead of the holiday season.
Indoor directories go global. Google has also expanded the Directory tab of Maps to include all airports, malls and transit stations worldwide, when this information is available. Within each category, users can also see a list of the relevant businesses and associated information, like ratings, what floor it’s on and whether it’s open.