This blog post gives insights into the advantages of Google Maps (through Google MyBusiness tool) over local business listings.
80% of the people who use a smartphone will have Google Maps installed on their device. And in recent times, the usage of Google Maps among people have been drastically increased. Also, in this digital era, as we all know, anything and everything that we are looking for is and are on Google. We have started Googling for every piece of information. Google has now become a household name and part of our lives in one way or the other.
When an individual is looking out for a product or a service, he is in need of two major information. They are:
- Businesses(vendors) that offers the particular product or service nearby to the individual’s location. For example, if an individual wants to install a UPS inverter at his home, he wishes to know about all the vendors who are into inverter business nearby to his location.
- How trustable and secure is doing business with those vendors? In other words, the individual wants to know the best among all the vendors available out there.
And the advantage of using Google Maps is that it helps customers with both the information accurately – Just touch on the Google Maps App and search for your needed products or service. In less than a second (based on your internet speed) you get the business details of vendors who deal with the products and services that you are looking for.
One such search on Google Maps for “Ups dealers near me” produced the following search results:
As shown in the picture above, you will get a bunch of dealers and their addresses for the products and services that you are looking for with accurate user reviews, option to call those dealers, real-time business operating timings, directions to reach their business location etc. These rich features are so nicely integrated into Google Maps App (through Google MyBusiness tool) that, you need not have any other tool or application to get relevant information. Google Maps has information about anything and everything that a person would need while searching for a local business. This is one of the greatest advantages of using google maps.
There are many other business websites and mobile apps that partly provides these features that Google Maps provides. They are called as local business listing sites. But they are not as advantageous as Google Maps are. When Google has become such a household name, the survival of other such websites and apps are in danger. I strongly feel Google Maps will kill those websites and mobile apps very soon. Some of the major players who might eventually get killed are:
Businesses That Will Eventually Get Killed By Google Maps (Google MyBusiness):
- askme.com (Already Closed)
All the above-listed companies are one or the other way into similar kind of business – They enlist business information across varied sectors like Hotels, Restaurants, Auto Care and Automobiles, Home Decor, Personal and Pet Care, Healthcare Clinics, Fitness Centres, Insurance, Real Estate, Sports, Schools, etc. from all over the country.
Businesses (product or service vendors) have provision for free business listing as well as premium listing on the above-mentioned sites. Initially, a business can register into these sites as a free business listing for traction and later, to improve revenues one can opt for their premium membership.
Let us clearly understand how the above sites work. Before that, let us name all the above sites as Business Listing Companies. Now, assume, a customer ‘A’ wants to buy a product or a service and is looking for a suitable vendor ‘X’. The customer ‘A’ will either visit the above sites in search of vendors or call on the number mentioned on the site asking for product or service providers(vendors). The above Business Listing Companies would provide the details of all the vendors who have registered (or listed) with them to customer ‘A’. This also happens in reverse. The customer’s contact details are shared with all those vendors who have registered with them. The high priority among vendors is given to those who have opted for a premium listing with them. Now, the customer ‘A’ will talk to all the vendors and finalize one and decides to carry out a business with that one selected – The ‘X’.
Disadvantages Of Business Listing Companies For Customers:
- Customers have to call Business Listing Companies to avail vendor or service provider details.
- As there are no accurate reviews available on the fly about such vendors, it becomes difficult for the customers to select one.
- There are high chances that the customers would get the contact details of low-quality vendors who can make it up on the top of Business Listing Companies by paying a high premium to lure customers.
- No directions to the location available.
- No real-time business operating timings available about these vendors on Business Listing Company Sites
- A single product or a service check on such sites will result in a number of vendors contacting you continuously one after the other to pitch to you for considering them for your needs. This could turn out to be a nuisance. I have personally experienced this. After using the Business Listing Site, vendors were calling me even on the fourth day.
Disadvantages Of Business Listing Companies For Business Owners / Vendors / Service Providers:
- Get customer contact details only if you opt for a premium membership of the Business Listing Company.
- Once opted for a premium membership, it is very difficult for business owners to opt out of the plan in between. ( I have personally experienced it with JustDial.com )
- Listing your business free does not give you enough customer leads as compared to paid ones.
Advantages Of Google Maps For Customers:
- Easy to use Google Map Apps
- Choose from all the vendors listed on Google Maps based on the real reviews (star ratings and written feedbacks) by other customers.
- Call interested vendors through call option on the fly.
- Customers need not worry about repeated calls from several vendors calling to sell their products and services.
- Real-Time directions to the location through Google Maps.
- Real Time operating timings available on the map itself.
Advantages Of Google Maps For Businesses:
- Need not pay for registering your business on Google Maps. You can list your business on Google Maps using “Google MyBusiness” tool with all the relevant details about your business niche.
The only catch is to maintain healthy google reviews on Google Maps by providing extraordinary customer experience. Competition among various vendors of the same niche is through good user reviews and feedback on Google Maps.
With such advantages on the side of Google Maps (through Google MyBusiness), customers and business owners are most likely to use Google Maps for their business transactions instead of listing them on Business Listing Companies. Therefore, if those business listing companies do not come up with a new working model, they are in danger. This is because facing Google in the heated competition is foolishness.
Hope you enjoyed this blog post. Feel free to comment below on your opinions.