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Drive Foot Traffic to Your Stores with Shopping Campaigns: Google Best Practices

Official guide to using local inventory ads for driving foot traffic to your stores.

Ultimately, whether someone steps into your store after looking online depends on what products are being searched for and what you have in stock. In this section, we’ll review how to best set up and manage what are called local inventory ads for your Shopping campaigns. They show potential customers what’s available in your stores in near real-time through a Google-hosted local storefront.

We’ll show you how to:

  • Set up your local inventory ads and customize who sees these ads based on their device and location.
  • Automatically adjust bids based on store proximity and time of day. 

 

Note

In order to participate in local inventory ads, contact your Google Account Manager and see if you’re eligible. He or she can also work with you to meet the additional product data requirements. Once your account has been made eligible to run this ad format, you can opt your current Shopping campaign into the local setting.

 

First, let’s think about showing the best ad to shoppers depending on their location, which product they’re searching for, and the device they’re on:

Promote products that are sold at a nearby store using local inventory ads.

Enabling local inventory ads allows you to customize your ads for shoppers based on their proximity to your stores and what device they’re using:

Shoppers searching for... On a... See a...
Products you sell only online Desktop or mobile device Online Shopping ad
Products you sell only in-store Desktop or mobile device Local inventory ad
Products you sell both online and in-store Desktop or mobile device Local inventory ad if near your store location
or
An online Shopping ad if not near your store location
 

All devices are restricted to show either one of two ad formats: online Shopping ads or local inventory ads. And since shoppers on a mobile device are likely on the go, you should try to show them a local inventory ad whenever they’re near one of your stores. This way, you can encourage them to engage in person with your nearby business.

 

Tip

Your local storefront also includes a “Buy Online” link, making it possible for shoppers to purchase a product from your website if it’s also available on your site.

Tip

Keep your local feeds updated by refreshing your Local Products Feed at least once a week and your Product Inventory Feed at least once a day.

 

Case Study

Electronics retailer Best Buy uses their digital campaigns to drive local shoppers into stores. Using local inventory ads, Best Buy drove over one million store visits throughout the holiday season. As a result, Best Buy is increasingly looking towards mobile and local inventory ads to drive traffic into stores.

 

Next, you’ll learn how to adjust bids to capture shoppers’ attention at key purchasing moments.

Optimize bids based on store characteristics and shopper context

Let’s say shoppers are on their mobile phones searching for a product you carry in your store. By optimizing bids for these key shopping moments, you can encourage these shoppers to visit your physical store.

  1. Adjusting bids based on closeness to your store locations
    As local inventory ads are primarily served to shoppers close to your stores, use location bid adjustments to increase bids based on proximity to your location extension addresses. This way, local shoppers will be informed of available products in your nearby stores. Learn more about location bid adjustments.
  2. Adjusting bids to capture mobile shoppers
    Local inventory ads are designed to capture hyper local queries (especially on mobile) which would drive traffic to your store locations. Consider using stronger bid adjustments for mobile to maximize this potential. Learn more about mobile bid adjustments.
  3. Increasing bids during store open hours and high traffic hours
    Keeping bids active 24/7 and using a positive bid adjustment during store open hours can increase your ad relevancy to potential shoppers. You can also have stronger bid adjustments during high traffic days and high traffic hours. Learn more about ad scheduling.

 

Conclusion

Your customers are constantly connected — seize the chance to get your products in front of them, even when they’re on-the-go. Highlight local store information, like proximity and availability, to attract nearby customers, especially on mobile. Having a comprehensive presence will unlock untapped opportunity to drive foot traffic to your stores.

 

Tip

Interested in learning how to analyze how your shopping campaigns and location extensions impact your foot traffic? Check out our guide to Finding Actionable Insights from AdWords Store Visits.

 

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