What are Google Local Inventory Ads?
Google Local Inventory Ads are a great way to drive foot traffic into your brick and mortar store by advertising your local inventory and providing customers with directions to the nearest store.
Stores that are already running Google Shopping ads can significantly benefit from expanding their marketing strategy to include local inventory ads.
Local inventory ads appear when a potential customer makes a search on Google for something “near me” or “local”. Once the search is made, the customer will see listings for those products and will be able to see if the retailer has that product in stock near them.
Here’s an example of a Google search for “men’s coats near me” that I made:
As you can see from the search I made, the first ad I received was for a quilted puffer jacket from M&S.
The key aspect of this ad is that it has “In Store” which really stands out to the customer, showing that they can go into the store and purchase this item right now.
There are two types of store front that the customer can see once the ad has been clicked on. In this instance, M&S have opted to use a merchant-hosted store front. A merchant hosted store front is a webpage hosted on the retailer’s own website, taking the customer off of Google’s platform for the remainder of the customer journey.
Here’s the landing page for that quilted puffer jacket ad:
From this landing page, I can easily select the colour of the coat and then find a store near me, go to the store and make the purchase.
The other type of store front that you can opt to use is a Google-hosted local storefront. This option would keep the customer on Google’s platform. Here’s an example of an ad which takes the customer to a Google-hosted local storefront.
From this example, you can see an overview of where the store is located, the store’s opening hours, a more detailed image of the product and an option to either complete your purchase online or get directions to the store in Google Maps.
You can also see from the example that it says “Limited stock”. Adding this scarcity to the ad might be the final nudge for them to complete their purchase right away.
Key benefits of different local store fronts
Merchant hosted local store fronts have one key factor that would be largely influential in retailers opting to use these store fronts over Google-hosted store fronts. Due to them providing the retailer or PPC agency running these ads with the ability to track the entire customer experience. This allows the retailer to remarket the product to the customer via Google Display Network if they drop-off on their way through the funnel.
Google-hosted local store fronts also have one key benefit that can lead retailers to choose them over merchant-hosted local store fronts. This is the ability to show your ads and provide a streamlined user experience without taking the customer away from Google. This can be especially beneficial if your website is not as intuitive as a Google-hosted local storefront would be. It can also lead to better conversion rates as customers are likely to trust Google and may not trust your website the first time they visit.
Why you should be using Google Local Inventory Ads
Promote your local store inventory – Let your customers know that your bricks and mortar store has the product’s that their searching for on Google, as they are searching for it.
Bring your local shop online – Opt to use either a merchant-hosted local store front or a Google-hosted local store front as a robust and reliable digital platform to showcase the products you have in stock.
Measure the performance – Track and monitor the performance that your ads have on in-store foot traffic and sales.
Who’s eligible for Google Local Inventory Ads?
Currently Google Local Inventory Ads are available for retailers who have brick and mortar stores in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.