Google announced today on Google+ that Google Maps on your mobile device will now show you how busy throughout the day a specific retail store or business is. When you click on a business, it will show you, by day and hour, how much foot traffic the business gets.
Here is an animated GIF of how it works:
Mike Blumenthal has FAQs on this feature that document some of my questions on how it works.
Google will actually crowdsource mobile users’ locations to determine the foot traffic in a specific store or business. This is similar to the way Google Maps traffic works, but now it is used to pinpoint traffic in a specific retail store or business. Google said, “the information is based on anonymized and aggregated visits to places from Google users who have opted-in to sharing location data.”
Also, the feature currently doesn’t work on iOS devices, but it works with Android devices and a number of browsers, including Safari and Chrome. I assume this will come to iOS shortly.