The features were introduced last month, but officially rolled out on Tuesday (June 26). The redesigned Explore tab — which gives users recommendations for restaurants, bars, and cafes in any desired area — also includes trending lists from local experts and Google’s algorithms to help find the best burger, beer or brunch spot in town. Foodies can also automatically keep track of their progress regarding any of the restaurants featured in the trending lists.
“So if you’re on a mission to try the 10 best tacos in your area and you’ve only tried five, Google Maps will note that for you so you can get to the tacos pronto,” wrote Sophia Lin, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.
Google Map’s features are a prime example of contextual commerce — introducing new commerce opportunities to consumers inside the ecosystems they’re visiting for other reasons. And a survey by PYMNTS found that, while they may not know what it’s called, nearly 60 percent of consumers are call it engaging in contextual commerce — and most of those shoppers say they enjoyed the experience and would try it again.
“Whether purchases inside an ecosystem are prompted by the recommendation of a friend or a fashion influencer, or via a vertical aggregator they trust and may have used before, consumers who make purchases this way value it for its convenience, for being able to buy something without leaving a site to do it, and for the ability to buy what they want while things are still fresh in their minds,” wrote PYMNTS’ Karen Webster.
As for Google Maps, the new Explore tab on Android now surfaces the top events and activities happening in one’s area, showing photos, descriptions and filters by categories — like “good for kids,” “cheap” or “indoor or outdoor.” I the Location History is turned on, each restaurant or bar now features “Your match,” a numeric rating that tells you how likely you are to enjoy a place based on your own preferences.