Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?

Discussion
Source: Google Ads Blog
Dec 11, 2019
Tom Ryan

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.

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?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Google’s suite of localization tools is a thoughtfully-bundled solution that will help retailers (hopefully of all sizes) get a leg up."
"Someone has to bring up the “P” word, so it might as well be me."
"Any fears or apprehension about geo-tracking have subsided, as personalization and localization strategies depend on it."

Join the Discussion!

13 Comments on "Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?"


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Ben Ball
BrainTrust

Without question. Consumer’s fear of “geo-tracking” has been overcome by the realization that it is happening via so many GPS enabled devices ( phone, car, smartwatch, fitness tracker…) that resistance is futile, so they might as well enjoy the benefits of the technology.

Stephen Rector
BrainTrust

Location-based mobile marketing is a must – especially for small business owners. This can help SMBs push up ahead of big box retailers when someone is searching for an item that they carry or service they offer. “Mobile first” is not only important in website user experience, but also when developing a marketing strategy!

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

This is important, particularly in the U.S. where local shops and services can be more scattered and hidden than they are in Europe where there is a greater degree of centralization in towns and village centers. Letting potential customers know you’re there is the first step in winning the battle for shoppers and market share.

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

Google’s suite of localization tools is a thoughtfully-bundled solution that will help retailers (hopefully of all sizes) get a leg up. I’ve been saying for a while, “digital drives discovery” and is a critical component to brick-and-mortar retailers, even those that have no intention of venturing into E-commerce. Google just made it easier for retailers to pull the trigger without over-thinking. Smooth move!

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust

Location-based marketing is becoming increasingly sophisticated and will get even more pervasive. It also will be a source of significant competitive advantage. There will be retailers that develop expertise and get the most traffic, sales and ROI, and those that are unable to.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

No matter how “near me” the retailer is, it is still more convenient just to order on the phone.

Ron Margulis
BrainTrust

Someone has to bring up the “P” word, so it might as well be me. All the incentives and added convenience of the new Google suite or any other series of apps will not fully address all privacy issues for all people. There will always be more than just a fringe portion of society that will see these kinds of “developments” as a violation of their rights. Google and others should expect some resistance.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

If I was a brick-and-mortar store, I would be jumping at this. And when we have the opportunity of customer contact, you better believe we will make it a service paradise! I want them back again.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I remember several years ago when Apple and a few other retailers started to use tracking and thought this was pretty expensive to implement, but as with most technology, it has morphed into something more refined and tailored to customers. Should be fun to see the next iteration of this.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Any fears or apprehension about geo-tracking have subsided, as personalization and localization strategies depend on it. With Google dominating the map and search space, it’s imperative for retailers and brands to embrace these technological innovations, and leverage these to drive their personalization campaigns.

Mobile has emerged as the starting point for many shopping journeys and it’s key that retailers and brands optimize their offerings via a mobile-first strategy. The first and highest priorities for retailers, especially smaller operations, is to let the customer know you exist, build up your reputation via customer reviews and grow and expand from there.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Love this. Sounds like it can incentivize in-store shopping for brick & mortar retailers. It’s close, it’s convenient. If I KNOW everything I need to know, I can buy online. If I have any questions at all, I can get them answered with minimum hassle. Where are my car keys?

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

This is a great opportunity for independent retailers to level the playing field. Too often the price to play with the big chains is beyond the means of an independent, but this technology gives the independent local store an arrow in their quiver.

Location based marketing is here to stay despite the privacy issues because everyone loves a bargain and if coupled with a deal, will be a great traffic driver. One of my QSR clients leverages this technology when it snows or when the power is out to drive both restaurant delivery/BOPIS sales and traffic.

Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

Easy for retailers. Easy for shoppers. Well-done.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Google’s suite of localization tools is a thoughtfully-bundled solution that will help retailers (hopefully of all sizes) get a leg up."
"Someone has to bring up the “P” word, so it might as well be me."
"Any fears or apprehension about geo-tracking have subsided, as personalization and localization strategies depend on it."

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