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Local inventory ads implementation FAQs

This page provides answers to common questions about implementing local inventory ads.

Product feeds

What should I do if I don't have information about products available in each of my stores?

You can submit the required inventory details for each stores where you have product information. Add  other stores to your inventory feed once you have their local product information.

Are a description and image required for all of my local products?

Yes. Google requires you to submit the description and image_link attributes for each item in your local products feed. If you have products that appear in both online and local products feeds, Google can use the descriptions and images you’ve already submitted in your online products feed for your local items. Learn how to map data across your feeds

Are exact inventory quantities required to participate in local inventory ads?

No. Instead of submitting exact quantities, you may submit placeholder quantities that match your approximate inventory levels (e.g. 10 = in stock, 1 or 2 = limited availability, and 0 = out of stock). 
Note: Google does not display exact inventory quantities for local inventory ads. Whether you submit exact quantities or placeholder quantities, ads display 'in stock' or 'limited availability.'

Can I specify 'limited availability' for items with greater quantities?

Yes. Adjust the input for the availability attribute to 'limited availability' for all relevant products. Google displays the most conservative value of your availability and quantity and usually shows an item as 'in stock' for quantities of 3 or greater and 'limited availability' for quantities of 1 or 2. 

Are there alternatives to providing daily inventory feed updates if my pricing and inventory don't change frequently?

Yes. You can submit only products that you know are in stock. Before you upload your daily inventory feed, set a placeholder value for the quantity attribute; a non-zero value makes sure your ads show an availability of 'in stock'. 
Note: Contact your Google representative if you cannot submit a daily inventory feed at all. 

How do I automate feed uploads?

Make sure that you register and upload your feed to Merchant Center at least once. Then, create a schedule for automatic feed uploads. Learn more about available upload options

Can I have one inventory feed for each store instead of a master feed for all stores?

We recommend one master  inventory feed; however, you may upload multiple inventory feeds if multiple feeds are easier for you. You can have up to 15 total feeds in Merchant Center. This means that you could upload 13 inventory feeds, if you have one online products feed and one local products feed.

What's the difference between the local products feed and online products feed?

The local products feed tells Google which items are available in your stores. We use this feed in 2 ways:
  • Your local products feed tells us which products are eligible to show in local inventory ads. 
  • Your local products feed is the only source of information for products that are sold only in-store (i.e. in-store products do not appear in your online feed). 

Therefore, Google uses the information in your local products feed to show shoppers rich product information about local only items (e.g. description, images, etc.). Learn how to create a local products feed.

Can I show products that I have on display and that customers can order?

Tracking 

What insights do I get when I use Google Analytics to track my local storefront?

Google Analytics measures actions that shoppers take while on your local storefront, such as page views and clicks to get directions or call your store. It’s important to measure these online behaviors to get the full picture of your local storefront’s performance. Learn how to set up Google Analytics.

How do I use the ValueTrack parameters {adtype} and {productchannel} for tracking?

To determine how to use the ValueTrack parameters for tracking, refer to the following table: 
Google search AdWords reporting ValueTrack parameter combination    
device shopping ad unit click type ad type product channel
Desktop Product Shopping ad Shopping - Product - Online pla online
local inventory ad Shopping - Product - Local pla local
Mobile Product Shopping ad

Shopping - Product - Online

pla online
local inventory ad Shopping - Product - Local pla local

 

See the ValueTrack parameters for Showcase Shopping ads. Showcase Shopping ads are available in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the US. You may create Showcase Shopping ads using the new AdWords experience and the AdWords API. If you want to advertise individual products, check out Product Shopping ads

General 

Can I change the maximum radius for showing my local inventory ads?

No. Google does not allow changes to the maximum radius shown for local inventory ads.

What’s the maximum area around my store a shopper must be in to be eligible to see my local inventory ads?

Google serves local inventory ads when a shopper is within a reasonable driving distance from a store’s location. 

What if my store is too busy to participate in Google inventory checks?

Google works with you to make sure visits are scheduled during the best time for each store. We aim to minimize impact on your store operations, and generally avoid visiting during peak days and hours. Learn more about Google inventory checks

Can I direct shoppers from local inventory ads to my website instead of a Google-hosted local storefront page?

Yes. If your website meets Google's requirements, you can use the merchant-hosted local storefront feature. This feature allows you to direct shoppers to your website when they click on your local inventory ads.

How do I prevent outdated store information from showing up on my local storefront?

Make sure you keep the details in your Google My Business account current for all of your stores. If you can’t regularly manually maintain your Google My Business account, you may want to use the GMB API to manage your locations.  Learn how to use the Google My Business API.

How do I show the in-store pickup option on my local inventory ads?

To get started, contact your Google representative to confirm your eligibility for the store pickup feature. Learn more about the store pickup feature.

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