Announcement: Google Maps Platform & how does that affect your store locator

Many of you have recently received an email from Google introducing new Google Maps Platform. As of May 02, 2018 Google announced  a massive change in their Google Maps product, aiming to simplify the customer experience, by reorganizing their API products,  adding a single priced plan with “pay-as-you-go” billing, single console and many more. On another side of this change is a significant price increase, which is one of the main concerns we’re getting now in the requests coming from our users.  Let’s try to address them.

What exactly is changing for Storemapper users? 

Basically, two main things. By June 11th, you need to :

  • ensure you have a valid API key registered with Google and added to your Storemapper account;
  • be prepared that at some point Google may ask you to enable billing and associate it with the project your API key belongs to.

It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to start paying to Google since June. Maps are still free to a certain amount of views per month. You’ll get free $200 credits every month, which per Google and per our internal analysis should be more than enough for 98% users using Google Maps. To be on safe side of it, you may want to check your map usage. This article will help you out.

Now, what would you get for these $200:

Dynamic map loads – 28 000 loads per month.

Every time a user opens the page with Storemapper is counted as one map load, so you can analyze your locator page traffic to confirm whether you fit into free quota.

Places autocompletion – 70 000 chars per month.

When users start typing something in the search field they get a drop down with a list of suggestions. This drop down is powered by Google and is called Autocomplete feature.  Every key press causes the call to Places API and will be counted.

On average user types 8 characters to find their starting point. Let’s say you have 2000-3000 searches a month  3000 x 8 = 24 000 chars per month. Looks save 🙂

Note: Your monthly map loads quota will be decreased by autocomplete usage and vice-versa. You may want to consider disabling Autocomplete feature if it’s not that critical for you. Contact us at help@storemapper.co and we’ll disable it for you.

 

What do you need to do?  

  • Ensure you have registered an API key with Google and added to your Storemapper account.
  • Check your maps usage to analyze whether you fit into Google free credit. For Map loads – you can also check your locator traffic; for Places autocomplete you need to know the number of searches per month. If you’re not using our Analytics solution, you can contact us at help@storemapper.co and we’ll share statistics info with you.
  • If you feel that your map usage will go over free quota you’ll have to set up a billing account.
  • Optional, but helpful: It’s worth setting up budgets and billing alerts to avoid unexpected payments.

 

What are we doing?

We’ll be closely monitoring and analyzing all implications this change would bring to us all. Our main goal here is to address this with minimum impact on our users. Also, we are looking into alternative, cheaper map providers and will keep you informed on any changes.

Keep posted and contact us at help@storemapper.co whenever you have any questions.