Google Places: guiding the retail sector’s leading players

Google Places: guiding the retail sector’s leading players

You know the name – but do you know how Google Places API really works in practice? An application that retains information regarding millions of localised places, Google Places API boasts an innovative system that helps specify addresses within the online marketplace. To find out more about the benefits the application has to offer clients and online retailers alike, take a look at our handy guide.

Google Places: when and where to use it?

LGoogle Places aims to provide users – whether businesses or customers – with access to a large number of relevant and personalised locations across the world, via a comprehensive online system. Daily updates (which can number in the tens of thousands) from various contributors help to ensure this system is accurate, up-to-date and pertinent. The application becomes even more effective when reinforced with the ‘Autocomplete’ function, giving users fast, easy and accurate address entry. What’s more, Google Places is compatible with iOS and Android, meaning it can be easily accessed by mobile or tablet users.

Google Places: a smoother, more fluid purchase process

The main reason for customers abandoning their shopping carts midway through an online transaction? A perceived slowness or lack of smoothness in the checkout process, which leaves the consumer discouraged. This impatience on the part of the customer says much about the tendency of today’s technological developments to encourage and reinforce expectations of immediate fulfilment when conducting online transactions. It is crucial to accompany the consumer throughout the purchase process, notably in order to:

  • Reduce effort on the part of the customer when entering personal data or information: Completing an entire series of fields regarding delivery and/or billing addresses can seem off putting and repetitive to the customer. By suggesting locations that correspond with the initial characters entered, Google Places saves the consumer significant time, automatically filling out all necessary fields with just a single click. The Harvard Business Review recently illustrated this phenomenon with the introduction of criteria measuring the importance of this “shouldering the effort” approach when evaluating how best to retain consumers’ interest during the purchasing process. Improving ease and speed of online transactions becomes even more important when we consider that a growing number of e-purchases are now concluded via smartphones. In 2016, total mcommerce sales will account for £25.2 billion, an increase of more than 25% on the previous year. See more by clicking here
  • Suggest a route and estimated journey time for the nearest point of sale (if the customer has previously selected this option).
  • Assist the customer in finalising the purchasing process. Entering incorrect payment information is a common mishap during this part of the transaction: facilitating payment by proposing the ‘Autocomplete’ feature maximises the chances that this final step in the process wraps up smoothly.

Confirming the address = a more streamlined delivery process for the retailer


A confirmed address already validated by Google Places offers clear advantages for the retailer:

  • Reduced risk of delivering to an incorrect address,
  • Smoother processing: as the address has already been confirmed, minimal verification and/or manual entry required, meaning that packaging and delivery can begin ASAP,
  • Web/mobile optimised.

Looking to optimize sales? Don’t forget Google Places!

Implementing Google Places couldn’t be easier. A few extra lines of code and voilà!

In addition to automatically recognising localised addresses across the world, Google Places API works to optimise the customer’s online buying experience by eliminating the need for repetitive and time-consuming information to be entered at each stage of the purchasing process. What’s more, Google Places enables the retailer to build a database of relevant and accurate information, serving to reinforce their CRM strategy and ultimately assist in the construction of a series of relevant, localised profiles. Long-term, this approach will allow retailers to launch targeted, effective marketing campaigns around points of sale aimed at customers in close proximity, helping to strengthen the customer-brand relationship.