Bing has quietly added a new feature to the Bing Business Portal (BBP) that lets local businesses accept orders from mobile searchers using smartphones.
The “Order by Smartphone” option/tool is integrated into the existing BBP tool that lets local business owners create a free mobile website to go along with their Bing local listing.
When the BBP launched last April, one of the cool features was a tool that let business owners create “mobile website” — basically, a smartphone-friendly version of their Bing local listing. Here’s a screenshot from my article last April showing the mobile website creator, which includes at the bottom a place to list up to 10 products — “Specials” and “Top Sellers.”
What’s New: Ordering Those Products via Smartphone
Listing 10 products on your mobile listing is nice, but letting searchers order those products is even better.
Now, when managing the business listing, the “Mobile” tab has a new “Ordering by Smartphone” option. The business owner chooses:
- if orders can be placed for delivery, pickup or both … and,
- how s/he wants to receive orders — via email or SMS
The business owner obviously needs to supply either the email address or mobile phone number where orders should be sent. Here’s what the options look like from my non-verified “Matt McGee SEO” business listing:
Once this is in place, smartphone users will not only be able to see those 10 “top sellers” and/or “specials,” but they’ll be able to place orders from inside the business listing that they see on their smartphone.
Inside the BBP, that link you see in the upper right that says “Ordering by Smartphone” leads to this help/explanation graphic that Bing put together. It shows a local restaurant using the BBP’s QR code generator to place a newspaper ad touting its “mobile take out service” and a customer ordering from his smartphone.
(click for larger version)
This seems like something that local restaurants would want to use, and maybe other businesses like florists, too? In any case, it’s another interesting and unique tool — one that, as far as I know, is only available in the Bing Business Portal.