The main goal of a typical retailer is to draw people inside and sell stuff, not have folks stare at the store's exterior. It makes a degree of sense, then, that a new report claims something called Google Store Views will continue the tradition of Google Street View within shops.
We'll admit: this is an odd, or even silly, concept at first listen. Individuals who don't enjoy shopping are almost bound to have trouble imagining why they'd want to stare at blurry photographs of stores' tables and shelves. Everyone knows what a standard Wal-Mart, Target, or whatever looks like, after all.
Still, the Store Views idea may make sense in a sort of evolutionary context. Consider that Street View went from exploring big cities with cars to parks and universities with custom tricycles. Maybe having Googlers with tripods wander around inside stores is the next step?
Google could know better than to photograph boring spots, too. It was an establishment called Oh Nuts that originally tipped Barry Schwartz off about Store Views, and that's not the sort of shop you find on every street corner. (Schwartz wrote, "Google came to their store . . . . [T]hey took pictures of the inside of the store, every 6 feet, in all directions. They also took pictures of products.")
Finally - and this is pure speculation - it seems like the existence of Store Views would go hand-in-hand with a lot of advertising possibilities. It's no secret that Google's interested in integrating ads with Street View, at least.
We'll be sure to relay any additional details when they become available.