Google Now adds location-based product reminders for retail stores

Google Now product reminders
Seek and purchase

Buying products online is the ultimate convenience, but nothing beats traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores when it comes to immediate gratification, especially when your Android smartphone can now be set to remind you about future purchases.

Google has updated its Search app with a bevy of new features for owners of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and up smartphones and tablets, includes a new option that will make it easier to remember what to buy next time you're out and about.

In addition to faster startup and the recently announced parking location beta, Google Search for Android now notifies users when they're near a retail store offering one or more items they've recently been searching for.

Those search results will appear as a Google Now reminder card, complete with product details and pricing sorted by where the item is available in your vicinity, even if you happen to have forgotten you wanted it in the first place.

Out and about

Google Search announced the new feature on its Google+ account with the example of shopping online for "the perfect pair of hiking boots." A reminder would pop up the next time you happen to be "near a store that carries those boots."

At least for now, shoppers will need to actually walk into the store to confirm the item(s) are in stock, but location-based product reminders could be a whole new way for retailers to convert Google search results into purchases.

Google Now also offers retailers a competitive edge against web-only giants like Amazon, where a so-called impulse buy winds up getting stymied by having to wait two or more days for the product to actually arrive.

The latest Google Search for Android update also includes new mall store directories as well as the ability to view cards when an internet connection is lost, and is now available from Google Play.