I wake up this morning to find an article at the Washington Post that Google has just made a big change to their shopping search, Froogle. You are now able to make a search for an item by Zip Code or City and State. Froogle will then show all the local stores that have the item you are searching for on a Google Map. This adjustment was made to make it easier for you to find products in your area and also to avoid traveling to a store and finding that the item is not in their possession.

When going to Froogle, you will notice that there is no separate field to enter a Zip Code or City and State, but rather you now can include it in your search string. For example, “iPod 06812″ would search for an iPod in the New Fairfield, CT area. But if you prefer, first make a search and get the online store results. Then, as you can see in the above, click on “Local Shopping” and a new field will appear that you can include a Zip Code or City and State.

(This will direct you too results for “iPod 06812“)

When using the local search with Froogle, it will show all the stores nearest to you that have the item you are searching for. I have looked over some of the results and can confirm that they are accurate, atleast in my area. It lists the stores in the left column and displays a Google Map on the right. One thing that I did not like though was that the filtering options are now located at the bottom of the results, instead of at the top, like in the original store shop search with Froogle. If I want to enter a price range, I now have to go to the bottom of the results in the left column and fill it in. No big deal, just a little annoyance in my opinion. But overall, it seems to work very well.

Nice timing too with the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, coming up in a few days! Although, a little earlier probably would have been wiser to get the word around. Shopping is going to be a breeze this year!

View Google’s Froogle.

Update: Thanks to Aaron who has pointed out in the comments that Google has released a page for Merchants to add products to Froogle using Google Base. They stores to create an account with Google Base and add their items using a bulk upload file with item types of “products” or “vehicles.” Google also goes over their adjustments with Froogle being local and mentions how merchants can add products to Froogle using Google Base in their recent blog post, “Don’t drop while you shop.” As Aaron has stated in the comments, it would be really neat to see if Google can use this data to make an inventory type system that informs you on how many items they have in stock when searching for the item. Thanks for the heads-up, Aaron!

6 Comments on “Google’s Froogle goes Local”

  1. Aaron says:

    Hmmm, if stores load their current inventory data in to Google Base they’ll even be able to tell you how many iPods are in stock…

  2. Brian Benzinger says:

    That is an excellent idea, Aaron. That would be really cool to be able to search Froogle, find the store on Google Map, and even see how many of the items the store has. Wonder if something like that would be possible. Nice thought and thanks for the comment!

  3. Aaron says:

    What do you know, I guess that’s exactly what they were thinking: How to Add Merchandise Data to Froogle using Google Base.

  4. grumpY! says:

    these are just pointers and hints. useful yes, but not a definitive statement that the OfficeDepot down the road actually has the portable hard drive in stock. this is not real-time inventory data across the retail spectrum, which sorry to say is probably a decade or more out there.

    think about it, home depot alone has 30,000 products in a store. and they have thousands of stores. incrementing and decrementing these items as they are sold with correct price, image, and descriptive text…sorry, not even google can handle that much data for even the top thirty retailers, let alone everyone. walmart reconciles their inventory once a day if i recall, and their IT infrastructure is more expensive and requires more staffing than google’s.

    not ripping on google, just saying that real-time inventory aggregation for all major retailers is beyond the capabilities of our networks, hardware, and software.

  5. Brian Benzinger says:

    Thanks for your comments, and yes, I agree with you. As I have said, “it would be really neat” to see if they could do it. I’m not predicting the future or anything by that means. Just a simple thought or a dream, if you will. Your point is well taken that it would definitely be quite a task to pull off something such as an inventory of items, and I totally agree. It would be a large mass of data that would require great attention.

  6. Froogle Submission says:

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