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According to a recent report by Businessinsider.com, almost 70% of surveyed people choose to shop online and pick up in-store. It means that there are 2 important factors affecting business’ sales. The first is your physical presence and the second is your ability to reach customers online. We don’t discuss the physical presence since it depends on each business’s goal and plans but there are some ways to improve your second factor that we can introduce.

Google has provided some helpful tools that anyone can apply easily. Instead of spending most of your budget on a general ad campaign, putting part of your cost to local inventory ads to promote your products in Google and drive customers to your stores is a better idea. This article is a brief introduction to local inventory ads and how you can apply them.

What are local inventory ads?

According to Google’s definition, “The local inventory ads feature allows you to showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers searching with Google. When shoppers click an ad or free listing that shows your local product, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more”.

In other words, local inventory ads are Google tools to help you drive in-store visits by allowing you to show potential online customers that you have the things they are looking for and how to purchase.

It appears at the top of Google search results and below the search query. Customers can take a quick review of the business that has the searching products. If they choose to click on the ad to see more details, they will be directed to your local storefront where all needed information about your business and location are provided.

local inventory ads google

What are local inventory ads’ benefits?

Local inventory ads’ main benefit is mentioned in the definition which is helping you to drive your potential online customers to your store to make purchases. However, besides the main benefit, they also bring some added advantages as follow:

  • They help promote your in-store inventory. The local inventory ads show the results of specific searching items and also connect to your local inventory feed. So that customers can see all the inventory you have in-store.
  • They help bring your local shop online with a minor cost: The Google-hosted local storefront acts as an online presence of your local store with all needed information. Of course, the cost is much cheaper than building up and managing your website.
  • They help you measure ads performance easily: Google can provide store visit data to help you check the effectiveness of your local inventory ads. 
  • They support eCommerce sales: Local inventory ads direct the customers to your storefront with all business information including direction to your store, phone number, and even link to your website if any. That means they have the option to buy online through your eCommerce website if they can not go to the store.

Which businesses should use local inventory ads?

As its nature is driving in-store visits, it is most suitable for businesses with physical locations where customers can go to purchase.

Besides, it is also a good option for small-and-medium-sized businesses without a separate and strong online presence. These ads can help to present online through local search and bring customers to your stores.

How to set up a local inventory ad?

Step 1: Set up all needed accounts including:

  • Google My Business
  • Merchant Centre Account
  • Google Ads account

Step 2: Enable the Local Inventory Ads in Merchant Center.

These are the following detailed steps:

  1. Sign in Merchant Center Account
  2. Click “Growth” in the navigation menu
  3. Click “Manage programs”
  4. Click “Get started” on the local inventory ads program card
  5. Confirm your location and then click “Continue”
  6. Ensure the Business information and accounts section is complete
  7. Click the “Plus” button.
  8. Choose the country where your physical store located
local inventory ads google

Step 3: Create your shopping and local product feeds

  • Google shopping feed: Show standard product ads feed
  • Local products feed: Show list of available products in a specific location
  • Local product inventory feed: Provide all details about your products: price, inventory,…
  • Business information feed: Fulfill all information of the location and store

Step 4: Register and submit inventory verification

Step 5: Apply your local inventory ads

Some best practices

Some suggested techniques can help you to increase ads’ effectiveness:

  • Increase budget for nearby shoppers: Local inventory ads are normally activated within a 35-mile radius of your store location but it is possible to set up a smaller radius to increase the percentage of in-store visits. The closer the customers are, the more likely they are to visit the store and make the purchase.
  • Increase budget during store opening hours: The purpose of local inventory ads is to bring customers to the store so make sure that your budget is maximized within opening hours.
  • Get your product feed in order: It is necessary to check all information including product information, products display before running the ads to make sure that it is exactly the way you want.
  • Make sure that your Google My Business account is complete: This is because the information from your Google My Business profile can help the customer find you and choose you instead of others.
  • Create a seasonal campaign for high demand: Customers normally have higher demand to find and purchase things during special occasions so you can try to make some special campaigns during those occasions to attract more customers.
  • Target mobile shoppers: Customers are more likely to find things near them when they are outside with the mobile so you can increase the budget for mobile searches.
  • Using Pointy: One of the disadvantages of using local inventory ads is the process of setting up and keeping them maintained. You will need to regularly update your store inventory. In this case, using Pointy is the best option. Pointy is also a Google tool that is linked to Google My Business and connected with the POS system in the store. Pointy helps you easily update online in-store inventory through the POS system. If the local inventory is not automatically updated, it makes no sense to run local inventory ads.
pointy_box

Conclusion

In summary, local inventory ads provide numerous benefits to local businesses while also having some drawbacks that can be addressed. We hope that this article has given you a reason to start utilizing them and to study more deeply about other Google ad tools so that you can combine them to have the best sale results for your local businesses.

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Author Kate N.

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