Today, customers expect retailers to provide them with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions. And they want this information to be readily available at multiple touchpoints along the customer journey.
Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) can help you connect with your customers and provide them with a seamless shopping experience. Essentially, they help you deliver the right information, at the right time.
We’ve already explored LIAs, the benefits, and how to set them up, but now we want to focus your attention on how to get the most out of them.
Why Should You Be Using LIAs?
To be a successful commerce brand today, creating a seamless omnichannel experience is essential; you want to see sales at a steady pace across your online and brick-and-mortar stores. LIAs can help you do just that.
By harnessing the power of online marketing, you could increase the volume of sales to your physical stores.
Product Listing Ads vs. Local Inventory Ads
Now, it’s important to recognise the difference between Product Listing Ads and Local Inventory Ads. At first glance, they appear to be incredibly similar, but there is one clear distinction.
This distinction is based on the type of inventory that the retailer uploads to the Google Merchant Center. These types can be split into three categories: online only inventory, in-store only inventory, or both online and in-store inventory.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are used to push online inventory, while LIAs push your in-store inventory. PLAs direct customers to your online store and an LIA will direct them to the page of the nearest physical store.
It’s also good to note that if a customer is looking for an item you sell both in-store and online, you can choose whether to show them a PLA, an LIA, or a multichannel PLA.
7 Best Practices for Local Inventory Ads
Now we have covered everything you need to know about Local Inventory Ads, here are some best practices when using LIAs to help you achieve optimal performance.
1. Order Your Product Feed
For any retailer, making sure your product feed is in order is essential. Double-check your product information is necessary, such as confirming your products are the same price in-store as they are advertised online.
You don’t want to disappoint any customers visiting your store. You can also check your feed health through the diagnostics tab in the merchant center, by filtering by LIA.
2. Create Seasonal Campaigns
Throughout the year, there will be peak seasons where your products will be in higher demand. Global national holidays, like Christmas for example, will always generate a high demand for products during that time. So, you should use your LIAs to attract customers by creating seasonal campaigns.
Conduct your research and find the products that are your best sellers and the products you want to push to your customers. Then, create your LIA campaign to ensure your products are placed in front of your most desirable customers.
3. Increase Your Budget for Nearby Shoppers, Mobile Users & Opening Hours
LIAs are designed to increase store visits so ensure that when you are open, more people can see your ads. Targeting mobile users is beneficial as people are most likely to find amenities near them when outside.
And finally, the closer customers are, the more likely they are to head to your store, so increase the budget for a smaller radius (under 35 miles) to increase that percentage of in-store visits.
4. All Your Stores Need to Be Linked
This needs to be done on your Google Business Profile. If your stores are not linked, then your ads may not be showing relevant information and can frustrate your customers. So, make sure all your stores are in your profile and addresses and opening times are up to date.
5. Refresh Your LIAs Regularly
All online advertisements need a refresh to reflect your stock and pricing. It’s recommended that you update your product feed weekly and your local product inventory feed daily to ensure you’re providing your customers with the correct information.
6. Set Up an Online Landing Page for Your Products
If you don’t have an online store, don’t settle for the backup Google-hosted landing page (GHLSF). It is highly beneficial for your shoppers to be directed straight to a product landing page from a local inventory ad, as you can drive traffic to your website.
7. Add “Pick Up” Options
Give your customers the options to pick up today/pick up later with Curbside. This allows customers to pick up from your store from the curb or directly in their car, keeping it safe and efficient for everyone.
The impact of online shopping has been impacting in-store sales, and for years, retailers with brick-and-mortar stores have been looking for ways to drive online customers to their shop windows.
LIAs present a great opportunity for retailers to bridge the gap between the online and in-store purchase process. And by following these practices, you could see stock flying off your shelves in no time.