Coinciding with Black History Month, Google is extending the Black-owned attribute to its Shopping tab, building on the initiatives launched across Search and Maps over the summer.
“This update … is another way people can shop with Black businesses across Google’s products and platforms,” Attica Jaques, Google’s director of brand marketing, consumer apps, said in a blog post on Monday (Feb. 1).
The attribute, which enables people to seamlessly identify and shop from Black-owned businesses, will be visible to shoppers sometime “in the coming months.” The label reads “identifies as Black-owned” and will appear in Google Shopping’s results.
Google is also marking Black History Month by spotlighting various Black-owned businesses and extending funding and training.
Over the past year, Google searches for “Black-owned businesses” soared 600 percent, according to Google Trends data. Nationwide, people have searched for “Black-owned restaurants,” “Black-owned bookstores,” “Black-owned beauty supply” and more, according to the post.
“We want to make it easier for people to support and spend dollars with the Black businesses they love,” Jaques said in the post.
In addition to extending financial support, Google widened the Grow with Google Digital Coaches initiative to 20 U.S. towns, with the goal of delivering mentorship, networking and training to 50,000 Black-owned businesses. So far, Google’s digital coaches have offered 1,000 digital skills workshops to help more than 58,000 Black and Latino small business owners.
The search giant is planning to wrap up Black History Month with a national Black Small Business Meetup on Feb. 25. The virtual summit will offer complimentary workshops, panels and best-practice sharing for some 500 Black small business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders.
In October, Facebook launched a #BuyBlack Friday event as part of its Season of Support, which extended free resources, education and instruction to businesses worldwide. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard on Black-owned companies, which have closed at “twice the rate of other small businesses.”
A recent shopping survey by Mastercard showed that 75 percent of respondents are planning to shop at smaller, minority-owned stores. Some 77 percent said they planned to shop local.