Google Is Introducing A Range Of New Features To Help Local Businesses Affected By The Coronavirus Pandemic

The tech giant Google is introducing a number of new updates focused on helping businesses to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic while continuing to serve their consumers across services such as Google Search and Google Maps. Since the coronavirus has started to spread across the globe, the company has made it possible for local businesses to connect to consumer things such as temporary closures, or revised working hours. Currently, Google is introducing and expanding a series of tools that will help businesses to support themselves, including those businesses that are focusing on fundraising, marketing their virtual services, or gift card sales.

These Google My Business features will also help restaurants to point to those delivery partners who they prefer, so people will be able to select to place their order via the third-party the business suggests. Previously, it was hard for restaurants to swallow large commission fees charged by food delivery applications, and now these apps are making huge profits from the restaurant industry’s collapse due to the coronavirus.

Obviously, the updates introduced by Google will not allow these restaurants to avoid the commission fee charged by food delivery apps, restaurants will surely be able to suggest their preferred delivery app to consumers. Businesses will surely suggest those apps charging the lowest commission fees. Google has also expanded its delivery partners across Germany, Australia, Canada, and the US to allow Google Map users to order delivery from over 250,000 new restaurants.

The company is also expanding a feature it recently released to allow businesses to sell gift cards to support themselves. Consumers can donate to their favorite business via Google Search in extra markets. The company initiated by letting merchants in the US, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, and Australia to include support links for gift cards and donations.

Now, the feature will be expanded to over 18 extra countries. Google has also made another change focused to address the wider way the coronavirus is affecting in-person businesses. Businesses verified via Google My Business will be able to send an alert notification to their consumers that they are working in a new capacity, in the coming few weeks. The company is now expanding its Reserve with Google appointment-setting initiative to help businesses to provide convenient online appointment bookings to their consumers.

The ability of Google to connect people with businesses has a huge impact and has surged traffic across Google Search and Google Maps. The search for interest such as ‘takeout near me’ has increased by around 260% since Feb of this year. However, despite the fact Google is introducing updates at a rapid pace, the company has seen more temporary as well as permanent business closures during March and April of this year as compared to Google saw in all of the previous year.

Other massive social platforms have also released new tools to help businesses sell their gift cards. Google is introducing updates in the coming weeks and months, it is more likely that businesses have found alternative ways to connect to their consumers and fundraise without the help of Google. Jen Fitzpatrick, SVP, Google Maps stated that around one in 3 businesses believe that their business may have closed without digital tools.

Read next: YouTube Is Testing To Integrate Google Search Results With Video Search In Its Mobile App
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