Street View Trusted, formerly known as Google Business View, is a tool for businesses to showcase their premises via a virtual tour hosted on the world’s leading search engine.
Utilising the same technology as Street View, the platform allows businesses to show their ambiance, décor and style to online users in a visually engaging manner.
Unlike Street View, the photography is taken by independent local photographers that are trained and certified by Google. The photos are subject to Google quality assurance inspections to verify that the imagery and user experience is of high standard.
Street View Trusted is hosted on Google Maps, however it can be accesses through a number of Google products:
• Google Knowledge Graph via search
• Google Plus
• Google Maps
Throughout the Google ecosystem, Street View Trusted is presented as “See Inside”.
Integration within the Google sphere has meant that the increased visibility will lead to improvement in click through rates, increased engagement with clients and even increased footfall.
Anecdotal data indicates that there may even be a correlation with higher local search rankings, although Google has not officially confirmed this.
Irrespective of what products or services you are looking for, people are always interested to know what they are in for.
If your business has a nice atmosphere, it will serve as a selling point and you will naturally attract more clients. Even a rustic and quirky place can have its allure.
Street View Trusted reach is greater than just business premises, it has been successfully utilized to showcase planes, trains, cruises and beyond.
Emirates Airlines was a pioneer by showcasing an Airbus A380 to the world. This garnered extensive international media coverage as anyone could explore the double-decker plane and steer their way inside the iconic four-aisle jet from the comfort of their home.
Japan’s newest high-speed train, the Hokuriku Shinkansen, showcased its plush interiors to the world prior to its official launch. Tickets sold out for its inaugural launch in a mere 25 seconds.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Sea, the largest cruise ship in the world, become the first cruise ship to have a virtual tour via Street View Trusted. Royal Caribbean rightfully deduced that clients will be tempted to explore the real thing once they had a chance to virtually wonder around this floating leisure paradise.
Even car dealerships have embraced the technology, it is possible to sit inside a vehicle at select dealerships to experience how a particular vehicle feels like from within.
Google is using inexpensive, corrugated paper to give virtual reality its most affordable and accessible platform by converting every Street View Trusted tour into a 360 degree panorama.
Google’s Cardboard initiative allows any business to give VR tours with a device that costs under £20, a smartphone and access to the Google Maps application.
All of a sudden, if you own a travel agency, you can show your clients what staying in one of the resorts that you offer feels like. In essence, your client can “try before he or she buys”.
Some have classified this development as disruptive enough to change the travel industry forever. Just like current day consumers expect to see reviews for a location before they book, in the near future, consumers may demand an immersive tour before they make their next vacation booking.
Just as virtual tours have become mainstream in the real estate sector, as sellers quickly realised that the exposure of a virtual tour will help in the sales process, other industries may come to the same realisation.
Clients of fine dining establishment may feel it’s important to virtually sit within a restaurant before making a reservation.
What else could this potentially disrupt? Beauty salons, dentist offices, day care facilities, storage warehouses, local supermarkets, etc.? While it’s too early to tell, the potential is limitless.
With the cost of Google Cardboard and Street View Tours low enough for businesses of every size to obtain, the question then becomes, can your business really afford not to have these tools as part of its marketing arsenal?
If you want to learn more about VR for marketing, check out Econsultancy’s Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Reality.