Google just announced several new products and features that focus on Offline Sales.

“Insights show that shoppers are more carefully planning their visits to physical stores. Keep consumers updated on your hours, health and safety improvements, promotions, and fulfillment options like curbside pickup, on a store-by-store basis.”

– Google

Additional research by Google shows that:

  • 67% of shoppers said they plan to confirm online that an item is in stock.
  • Searches for “available near me” have grown globally by more than 100% since last year.
  • 66% of shoppers said they plan to shop more at local small businesses.

 

Google Releases New Features To Support Offline Sales

 

1. New Actions Bidding for Local Campaigns

 
Currently, in local campaigns, advertisers can only optimize for max store visits. With this update they will now be able to add calls and direction clicks as conversions to optimize towards.

Why is this feature is important?

Often, conversion actions like calls and/or directions are more important than a store visit itself, especially as brick and mortar foot traffic is impacted by pandemic related restrictions. This update allows advertisers the flexibility to optimize towards the local conversion types that make the most sense for their business.

“This is a solid improvement in Google’s local campaign capabilities for advertisers which offers a new degree of flexibility and potential ROI for local businesses.”

Josh Brisco, VP, Growth Media at Tinuiti

 


 

2. New Service Attributes for Local Campaigns

 
Google recently added terms such as ‘dine-in’ and ‘take out’ for Quick service restaurants (QSRs) and ‘in-store shopping’ and ‘curbside pickup’ for retailers.

Why is this feature is important?

With the pandemic-induced changes in the food & retail landscape, more people are turning towards search to discover updates to their favorite advertisers’ statuses, as well as searching out new providers whose status fits their current needs. This addition to the local campaign type should additionally smooth friction between customers looking for, and finding, updated information on retailers & Food/beverage availabilities to deliver service.
 

3. “Pickup later” for Local Inventory Ads

 
Now, advertisers can promote products that may not be available in-store, but can be available for store pickup within a few days.

Why is this feature is important?

With BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) becoming a more frequently used method of a product purchase, this update gives advertisers the flexibility to advertise portions of their catalog which are not immediately in stock for pickup, but will be soon. This was not a capability previously.

“This should enable advertisers to advertisers more of their catalog, and potentially capture buyers they would have lost to other retailers without this update,” Brisco says.
 

4. Omnichannel Bidding: Smart Bidding for store sales

 
Store sales can now be added as a conversion type to bid towards, alongside online sales, using smart bidding strategies. With omnichannel advertising playing an increasingly important role for non-pure play retailers, the need to optimize not only digital but also brick and mortar KPIs is exceedingly important.

Why is this feature is important?

“This should be a very well-received update as advertisers no longer have to decide between on and offline KPIs when utilizing Google’s powerful smart bidding options,” Brisco says.

 

5. Easier Setup for Chains for Location Extensions

 
Now chains can select their locations from a curated list versus a more manual implementation
why is it important – an update to the ease of use, and the expansion of LIAs should only serve to increase this channel’s performance.

Why is this feature is important?

Easier implementation usually leads to wider adoption, which should help make setting up and running LIAs more of a possibility for a wider number of retailers and individual store locations.

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