Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 4:39 PM
One weekday evening a few weeks before our son was born, my wife commissioned me to find a box of raspberry red leaf tea for the delivery. I promptly drove to the nearest grocery store, which has an awe-inspiring wall of tea. After diligently scanning the wall and not finding the tea, I began to wonder if it even existed. Was the similarly-labeled raspberry tea the same thing? What about red leaf tea? Stumped, I pulled out my phone and looked up "raspberry red leaf tea" on Google. Beneath the "Shopping results," I saw a red map marker for a nearby Vitamin Shoppe and a link, "In stock nearby," next to a picture of Alvita Raspberry Red Leaf Tea. I hopped back in the car, and 15 minutes later had accomplished my mission. Two weeks later, my wife accomplished her much more important mission and we welcomed Benjamin, a healthy and happy baby boy, to our family.
Since we announced the Local Shopping inventory beta some months ago, we have received great user feedback on the feature, and retailers have been clamoring to take part. Today, we’re making public our help documentation for participation. Please take a moment to review those documents, and if you’re interested, fill out the local shopping interest form. While we won’t be able to accept all retailers who apply, we will keep your name on file if we can’t take you at this time. Please note that excellent Product Search data quality is a prerequisite for participation, so make sure that you are submitting an accurate and complete data feed, including unique product identifiers. Additionally, to take part you’ll need to have your stores listed on Google Places, so make sure you have submitted and verified your store listings.