Ideas & Innovation

Turn Online Shoppers Into In-Store Customers With Local Inventory Ads

Turn Online Shoppers Into In-Store Customers With Local Inventory Ads
Apr. 10,

If you manage or own a store(s) locally and wish to reach more local shoppers in your area to sell them in store, this blog post may just offer you what you need. Google has a robust product on offer that can significantly increase the number of footfalls into your store.

Bring online shoppers into your store with local inventory ads

Google has recently revealed that every 1 in 3 search that happens on the search engines has a local intent. Moreover, these searches are growing at a fast rate and hence there is a considerable need for local stores to turn these online searches into in-store sales. That is where Google’s Local Inventory Ads come into picture; they offer you the opportunity to bridge the gap even if you do not sell your products online.

Google leverages the power of Global Positioning System (GPS) to know the location of a searcher using their search engine. Local inventory ads display your product availability to people who are searching nearby for the things you offer. By clicking your ad, those shoppers will visit a Google-hosted page for your store where they can view your inventory online, view store hours, get directions, and more.


How to Use Local Inventory Ads?

So how do local inventory ads make their way into search? You need to use Google Adwords to add local inventory ads to your shopping campaigns. It takes some product feed creation and inventory management skills, but here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tell Google You’re Interested

Filling some details about your business is the first step.

  1. Account Configuration

You need to configure accounts on Google Adwords, Google My Business, and on Google Merchant center. Read here from Google itself on how to sign up for the accounts and how to set them up before you go to the next step. Of course, Cibirix can help you with all of this, just let us know.

  1. Tell What You Sell to Google and where you sell

This is the most important part of implementation where you will be telling Google through a product feed and a product inventory feed about what you sell and which store locations have the products along with their inventory.

Product Feed

You should start with creating a delimited text file or XML file. This product feed is how Google knows about your products. Following attributes can be used for your products.

itemid If you’re already using an online products feed, Google recommends matching this itemid to the value you use for id. If you cannot match these values, learn other options to match information across feeds.
condition You may only use ‘new,’ ‘used,’ or ‘refurbished’ as values.
brand If you have a manufacturer part number for a product, include mpn. If you do not have gtin, mpn + brand are required. See more information in the Products Feed Specification.
google_product_category Follow the Google product category guidelines.


Product Inventory Feed

The local products inventory feed is a list of the products you sell in each store. Some attributes are required for all items, some are required for certain types of items, and others are recommended.

Again, you start with creating a delimited text file or an XML file. Include the attributes itemid, store code, quantity, and price for every product you sell in at least one store. You can use incremental feeds for quicker updates to your inventory.

  1. Register and Submit

Make sure you follow Google’s submission guidelines when you submit your product feed. Remember that the product feed will go to your Google Merchant Center.

  1. Expect Visitors

Once you’ve created and submitted your feeds to Merchant Center, a Google representative will reach out and schedule a store visit to verify your inventory is current and accurate. After the initial visit, Google may want to schedule ongoing visits to confirm your inventory information is still correct in the future.

  1. Enable Local in your Shopping Campaigns

Login in to your Adwords account. Navigate to the Settings tab and click the name of the Shopping campaign you want to use for local inventory ads. Create a Shopping campaign, if you don’t already have one. Navigate to Settings > Shopping settings (advanced), check the Enable local inventory ads box and click Save. Note: Connect your AdWords account to your Merchant Center account. In Merchant Center, open the 3-dot dropdown  and click Account linking. Then, click LINK ACCOUNT. 

With this step by step guide, you can do what retail giants such as Macy’s and Sephora do. Rather than thinking about mobile phone as a threat, think about it as a magnet to attract prospective customers. These customers can be drawn in and you can give them the experience that your store offers, all leveraging Local Inventory ads.

Contact Cibirix to help your local store sell more through online ads.

About Author

Ashish Roy

Ashish Roy

CTO & Co-Founder

Since founding Cibirix, Ashish has leveraged his marketing degree to lead the agency in crafting meaningful digital marketing experiences for clients. His results-driven approach is a unique mix of analytical thinking, crisp visual aesthetics and a desire to simplify frontends while developing robust architecture. With a passion for design, technology, & marketing, He leads each aspect of the agency’s business and oversees its talented team of digital professionals.

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