Local Inventory Ads
Local Inventory Ads are a useful shopping campaign format that can allow local businesses to capture the change in consumers online to offline purchase habits to drive sales for in-store inventory. These purchase habits have changed significantly over the last 6 months due to the pandemic. Consumers are now increasingly using google search to make decisions that will impact their offline purchase habits.
Emerging local trends of interest;
A 540% increase in search queries for shop local
42% of consumers are checking on shop openings before they visit in person
There has been a 65% increase in ‘curbside pickups'
Shoppers utilising local store pickups are 13% more likely to complete the purchase
Customers using local pickups spend 23% more than online customers
These trends are also not going away anytime soon;
56% plan on continuing to use these pick up features in the future
68% are researching online for in-store availability
80% intend to shop less frequently but spend more during their shopping trips
What are Local Inventory Ads?
Local inventory ads capture the new purchase behaviours of consumers by promoting a stores inventory, availability and fulfilment options, all online.
You can see from the picture below a little bubble appears beside products and the shopping ad section showcasing its availability and options for local picks ups.
Shopping Campaigns and Local Inventory Ads work seamlessly together to drive more offline sales for your shopping campaigns.
The local Inventory ads format is both location-based and mobile-first. This means the shopping ads will trigger when there is some local intent within the user’s search.
An example of this would be a customer that is walking about in town and is using their phone to search for a new pair of yoga trousers, searching for items that are near them or if they are physically near a shop that stock an item similar to their product search.
How Does The Local Inventory Ad Format Work in Practics?
When a consumer clicks on a local inventory ad they will be taken to what is called a ‘local storefront’. This is a landing page that contains information relating to the local availability and price of that product.
There are two options for merchants when using local storefront landing pages. One option would be to use their own website to highlight the local availability of the product.
If this format is not an option for the merchant then google can host a storefront on behalf of the merchant.
It is highly recommended you use your own product landing page with local availability. Google calls this a ‘Merchant Hosted Local Storefront’.
This is a best practice as it drives traffic to your website, encourages both offline sales and online conversions, freedom to customise conversions tracking.
Many merchants have seen great success from using Merchant Hosted Local Storefronts. Advertisers using these storefronts have witnessed a 71% increase in omnichannel sales compared to normal shopping campaigns.
How To Activate Local Inventory Ads
Make sure you have all the correct google platforms.
To run local inventory ads you first need a Google Merchant Centre, Google Ads accounts and Google My Business Locations.
Activate Local Inventory Ads Within Merchant Centre
Navigate to your Merchant centre and look at the menu on the left-hand side. Find the option the says ‘Growth’, click on this and pick ‘Manage Programmes’. A number of options will appear on your right, scroll down and find the option that says ‘Local Inventory Ads’ and press ‘Get Started’.
Create, Register and Submit a Local Inventory Feed
Two different types of feeds will have to be created and submitted once you have activated local inventory ads within the merchant centre.
Local Product Feed: This feed contains a list of the products you sell within your store with product characteristics. Some attributes are required for all products, some are only required for certain products while others are only recommended.
Local Product Inventory Feed: This feed contains the products you sell in each individual shop. This feed also contains product attributes that are required by Google and others are recommended. Below is an example of a local product inventory feed given by Google
As offline and online purchase behaviours become more intertwined the path to omnichannel success can seem like an intimidating prospect. Thankfully, with Googles local inventory ad implementation you can capture these omnichannel customers by giving them new and exciting ways to shop, by driving more customers to both websites brick and mortar shops and expanding inventory coverage.