Google Maps offers Winnipeggers look inside businesses

Winnipeg businesses are snapping up a new tool to lure customers.

Google Maps Business Photos offers would-be clients a inside look at businesses before they walk through the doors.

Winnipeg photographer Hart Macklin, the only one in the city who is "Google-approved," said it's the same principal as the Google cars outfitted with cameras on their rooves that take 360 degree street views. But this service offers views of the business inside as well.

Macklin said fewer people let their "fingers do the walking" and are turning away from the yellow pages.

Instead, they are turning on their smart phones to get information about businesses.

"They, nowadays, don't want to get in the car and go from store to store to store to store, only to be disappointed that it's not the kind of store they expected," he said.

"They will first sit down and do their research."

Mackin said the way people shop is evolving to allow customers to focus in on what they want.

"You could actually search nearby, up comes a list of restaurants and you could see inside them to decide whether the decor and the menu is exactly what you're looking for."

Macklin said he's already signed up 120 Winnipeg businesses and there are more every day.

Here's an example of what the finished product looks like.

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