Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?
Noting that it’s seeing 350 times more search interest in “local” and “near me” than there was 10 years ago, Google recently updated its localization tools available for retailers.
In a blog entry, Google noted that it offers two ways for merchants to drive traffic to stores: Local and Shopping campaigns.
Local campaigns drive traffic to stores through ads that appear on Google Search, Google Display Network, Google Maps and YouTube. Google writes, “You provide us with store locations, campaign budget, and ad assets. Using these inputs, Google’s machine learning technology will automatically optimize bids, ad placements, and asset combinations. The result aims to maximize store visits and promote your locations across Google properties and networks.”
Under the updates, stores can now be featured on location pins in Google Maps for users to find as they get directions to destinations. In Google Display, stores can present a curated selection of the products they carry in a visual, catalog-like experience.
Shopping campaigns, including both Shopping ads and local inventory ads, help retailers promote their entire online and in-store product inventory to boost traffic in both places. The inventory data is used to create ads on Google and around the web where potential customers can see what the store is selling. Google writes, “We call these placements Shopping ads, because they’re more than a text ad — they show users a photo of your product, plus a title, price, store name, and more. These ads give users a strong sense of the product you’re selling before they click the ad, which gives you more qualified leads.”
Local inventory ads showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers searching with Google. When shoppers click the ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for the store, called the local storefront. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours and find directions.
Under the updates, consumers can now see fulfillment options, including in-store pick-up, from local inventory ads. Google is also adding user-generated images in product reviews on Shopping ads.
- 2019 holiday checklist: help shoppers find local stores – Google
- 2019 holiday checklist: Get your products in front of holiday shoppers – Google
- About Local campaigns – Google
- About Shopping campaigns and Shopping ads – Google
- Saks, Sephora pilot Google’s local ads to drive store traffic – Mobile Marketer
- Google expands Local campaigns inventory, BOPIS offers for Shopping campaigns – Search Engine Land
- Discover new places with help from top Local Guides – Google
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see location-based mobile marketing becoming more of a traffic driver for retailers in the next few years? In what applications of the technology do you see the greatest potential for success?