Google Shopping has granted non-shop retailers the chance to showcase their products alongside the market leaders and levelled the online promotion playing field and has made product comparison a whole lot simpler for customers!
This is all great news for retailers with a knock-out conversion rate and superb web experience, but Google Shopping has been slow to support retailers with a ‘brick and mortar’ presence.
First there was Google Local
For the last few years, Google Local has been the search giant’s priority – providing map-listed results partnered with addresses, reviews and click-to-call on mobile.
This was great for service providers, but didn’t do much for high street retailers looking to drive more footfall.
Then there were Local Inventory Ads
When making a purchase decision, 74% shoppers would find it useful to know if an item was in stock at a nearby store.
Local Inventory Ads are Google’s answer to keeping these 74% of shoppers happy by driving in-store visits – all from the comfort of your Merchant Center.
How to setup your Local Inventory Ads
There are 4 pieces of information you need to submit to Merchant Center:
- Online products
This is your regular shopping feed that contains product details for everything that you sell via your website.
- Local products
A simple list of products that are available to purchase in your physical store.
- Local product inventory
Similar to your standard Products feed, the Local product inventory contains all products that you sell and is uploaded to the Merchant Center. As long as the product is available in your brick and mortar store, it is eligible for inclusion in the local products inventory. Additional information needed includes product availability and prices.
- Google My Business information
No matter if you have 1 store or 100 stores, all shop addresses should be added to your Google My Business profile and verified. The shop codes will then link up to the Local product inventories so shoppers will know which items are in stock at which store.
Once all fields are completed and feeds uploaded, you should start to see a ‘drop pin’ icon on your ads; this tells users how far they are from the physical item in store.