Local Inventory Ads 101

By Tinuiti Team

One of the most proactive eCommerce marketing tools for brick and mortar retailers is to use Google Shopping's Local Inventory Ads. These inventory listings are great at capturing a customer’s attention by offering ready-to-ship products available from local stores. Local inventory ads drive traffic to your store anytime users search for local retailers with available inventory. 

Think of local inventory ads as an online banner that appears underneath product listings for a given search query. These local ads give potential customers the option of reviewing local businesses who have the product in question. They appear at the top of search results right below the search query. When users click on your advertisement, they’re immediately directed to your Google-hosted local storefront page. 

Your customized storefront page comes complete with a product description, an image of the product, links to your website, your phone number, your store’s hours of operation, and a map providing directions to your store. Customers can also buy direct by clicking through to your eCommerce platform. So, aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your business on the minds of local customers, what are some other benefits you need to be aware of when running local inventory ads? 

Inventory Liquidations and Increased Traffic

As any retailer will tell you, inventory costs money. Having the ability to liquidate outdated inventory is always a plus. Ultimately, this local SEO tool will drive traffic to your store, solidify your local presence and help you liquidate certain inventory classes that are taking up too much shelf space and costing too much money. 

Promote Your Business in Real-Time

Local Inventory Ads are triggered within a 25 to 35-mile radius of your store. While the reach may be limited, it does allow you to capture local searches within a reasonable distance. The ads are triggered when a potential customer uses their mobile device within this aforementioned driving distance. 

Measuring Impact of Local Inventory Ads

Upwards of 15 to 18 percent of customers exposed to Local Inventory Ads visit that store, and with a $25 return for every dollar spent on this eCommerce marketing tool, it simply stands to reason that running the ads makes perfect sense for businesses looking to increase their local presence. However, be sure to track the impact of Local Inventory Ads by measuring in-store traffic, online orders placed through mobile, tablet, or desktop devices, and other analytics measuring the impact of the ads on in-store and website traffic. 

Maintenance is Key

This is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” search marketing solution. You’ll need to update Google daily on your in-store inventory and Google must have some way to verify those inventory counts. Google My Business must have all your business’s information, so ensuring this information is up-to-date is a must. The solution also includes map pins and additional store information when searches are performed on laptops or desktops. 

Local Inventory Ads are an eCommerce marketing strategy ideally-suited to local online searches. They can be combined with buy online and pick-up-in-store solutions so that customers have the options of making purchases immediately after the search.  While this does require additional configuration, and can increase costs, it does empower your store to capitalize on opportunities in real-time. 

If you're looking for other insights into how you can position your retail or eCommerce outlet at the forefront of your market, then read Search, display, and social advertising boosts high-end retailer's YOY sales by 70%.

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