Google is looking to help customers shop smarter this Black Friday by updating its Popular Times feature on Google Maps. This welcomed addition will show users just how busy a shop is in real-time, allowing them to avoid big queues or spot potential bargain hot-spots.
All information will be delivered live, so you can be sure you’re getting up-to-date statistics as it happens. The latest update also includes the average time a customer spent in a particular shop and can be further drilled down to find out queuing times at checkout or whether it was for a dining experience plus you can find the expected business operating times as well.
Google is planning to roll-out this feature ahead of this week’s Black Friday event, so make sure you have the latest Google Map software on your phone or have access to the online version.
A Google spokesperson said: “Since introducing the Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps last year, you’ve been able to check how busy a place typically is at different times of the week”
“In time for the Black Friday swarms, we’re adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go,”
““Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive.”
Google noted that it uses anonymised location data (GPS) from smart devices to help estimate how many people are in a particular shop at that time. This of course represents only an approximation as people would needed to have opted-in on their app to enable this feature.
Popular Times has been an available feature within Maps and Search since July 2015, but up until now it only represented historical trends, showcasing how busy certain venues were at that time.