People are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to shop for goods and order food. Google is now making it easier for customers to message stores through posts, while businesses can reply through the Maps app and get more customer stats.

At the moment, you tap the messaging button on listings in Maps or Search to reach out. Posts from businesses that appear in the Updates tab or elsewhere in the Google apps will now feature a “Message” shortcut. Added to the conversation thread for reference, customers can quickly ask questions about a particular promotion or item.

Similarly, when a business you’re calling doesn’t answer, Google will prompt you to reach out via a direct message. This comes as the company notes how users have “initiated more than twice as many messages to merchants” since the start of the year.

On the other side, verified businesses can now respond to messages from the Google Maps app instead of having to use the My Business site. Rolling out now, customer conversation requests will appear in the “Updates” tab for increased productivity while mobile. Viewing and replies are also coming “soon” to desktop Search.

Those SMBs also benefit from more discovery metrics. A Business Profile Performance page will identify what search queries led to the listing. In the case of a pastry shop, terms could include “bakery near me” or specify a particular food item. This joins graphs that plot out six months of call, message, and booking interactions.  

The performance information next year will specify if a listing was viewed through Maps or Search, and whether it was a desktop or mobile device view.

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