Heads up retailers: Google has just launched a new Curbside pickup feature that is currently in beta testing for Local Inventory Ads used in your Shopping campaigns.
The Curbside pickup annotation could prove to be an important player in moving sales as stores nationwide explore phased re-openings amid COVID-19.
Here’s everything we know about Google’s new Curbside pickup feature for Local Inventory Ads and how you can get started.
“Given the current landscape with COVID, consumers are looking for faster and safer purchase options. With Amazon and the broader ecommerce fulfillment network delayed, consumers will appreciate having local options nearby to pick-up products safely.”
— Evan Kirkpatrick, VP of Shopping & Feed Management at Tinuiti
Adapting to Changing Consumer Preferences
The new feature comes at a time when consumer demand for safe ways to shop locally continues to rise as online inventory is stretched to the limits.
“This will be even more true as stores in more states reopen to the public, to be able to stay in your car versus going into a potentially crowded store will be a huge difference to many people. Google differentiating between what is ‘In-Store’ versus what is ‘Curbside’ is significant,” explains Kirkpatrick.
“If curbside becomes a big differentiator for merchants, which at least in the immediate short-term we believe it will be, it means not only do merchants need to prioritize getting Local Inventory Ads live, they also need to do more than the basics and invest in capabilities at the store-level in order to compete.”
Eligibility and Implementation
According to Google, you are eligible for the new Curbside pickup feature if you “have live local inventory ads. In addition, for each product that you opt-in to store pickup, you must offer same-day or next-day pickup from the time the order is placed.”
There also will be a “curbside pickup” badge at the top of your ads for eligible products.
You can get the Curbside pickup badge for products on your Google Hosted Local Storefront (GHLSF) and Merchant Hosted Local Storefront (MHLSF) Full or Basic.
“For merchants with an in-store presence, they can no longer afford to wait to get Local Inventory Ads live. It can be a big time commitment and investment, but we expect these ads to make up an even larger percentage of Shopping volume moving forward,” says Kirkpatrick.
For merchants that are live with Local Inventory Ads, they only need to make sure they meet Google’s requirements for Curbside pickup to enable the badge.