Google recently unveiled “Popular Times” to show mobile consumers when a business location is busiest. Popular Times not only offers valuable information to consumers, but to you, as a business owner.

This statement was released on the company’s blog:

Do you ever find yourself trying to avoid long lines or wondering when is the best time to go grocery shopping, pick up coffee or hit the gym (hint: avoid Monday after work)? You’re in luck!

Now, you can avoid the wait and see the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses around the world directly from Google Search. For example, just search for “Blue Bottle Williamsburg”, tap on the title and see how busy it gets throughout the day. Enjoy your extra time!

Google collects this data by tapping information from previous customers who visited a business and agreed to allow Google to store their location history. These users were tracked over time to determine their habits regarding visits to specific businesses.

This new Google feature is especially useful if you are a busy business owner, multi-location franchisee or general manager who is looking for ways to get more customers. You are not likely in your locations on a daily basis and Popular Times grants you the ability to see the traffic you may have missed otherwise.

From your mobile phone, search for your business on Google to see if Google has started presenting your business’s popular times to consumers. If the chart is showing a number of peaks and valleys there are some simple actions you can take to increase revenue and save money.

Actions You Should Take

1. Create Time Sensitive Promotions

Find your slowest times and offer special discounts to encourage your customers to come into your location at those times. For instance, restaurants could offer a late lunch promotion if they are slow on Wednesdays at 2pm.

If the chart shows your gym is missing customers on Tuesdays and Thursdays after 6pm, maybe you could set up memberships so people who come in only on those days and times get discounts.

This concept is similar to how movie theaters get more customers by offering discounted tickets earlier in the day and on evenings when they aren’t normally busy (Mondays and Tuesdays for instance). Many families have made traditions out of going to see movies on those days simply to save money and avoid the crowds. These are repeat customers who, if not given an option for cheaper prices at those times, may not offer theaters their business at all.

2. Adjust Staffing to Accommodate Demand

After focusing on increasing revenue during slow hours, the next step a business should take is to ensure they are not understaffed during busy hours and overstaffed during slow hours.

This will help you use your staff efficiently and reduce overhead, while increasing revenue. As a business owner, Google’s new feature is a great tool that lets you see when people are frequenting your business and when they aren’t so you can employ strategies to get more customers and increase revenue.

If you need one-on-one consultation on how you can leverage Google’s Popular Times for your business, and/or if you need a way to create online promotions, Merchant Centric is here to help.

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