Google is trying something new this Black Friday to ease the headache of shopping for both consumers and retailers.
Tapping its massive trove of geolocation data from app users, earlier this week Google unveiled a new blog post about retail traffic at different kinds of stores that claims to show shoppers the least busy times of day to shop. According to Google, 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. are the best times to visit big box and discount stores, while department stores are slightly less crowded on Black Friday than big box stores or electronics stores.
But more importantly, Google is also giving paid advertisers access to search data that allows them to tie search queries to in-store visits. Advertisers aren’t being given access to personal data or to search queries themselves; rather, Google is offering the rate of store visits based on keywords with advertisers.
Retailers fearing a loss of foot traffic to online Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are a growth area for Google.
For customers, Google notes that the biggest shopping day for consumer electronics and cellphone stores is Black Friday, but that other stores see heavier traffic as it gets closer to Christmas.