Did you know that half of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and that local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches? With more than 90% of retail sales still occurring in brick-and-mortar stores, it’s easy to see how Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) can be beneficial for retailers with physical store locations.
Local Inventory Ads (LIAs), formerly named Local Product Listing Ads (PLAs), were created by Google to make a retailer’s local stores and inventory accessible to people shopping online. This ad type displays local inventory information to a retailer’s Google PLAs and Shopping Results. Their purpose is to enable visitors to quickly identify stores nearby which carry in stock the product they are searching for.
One area that causes a lot of confusion for retailers are the various ad formats which collectively fall under the LIA umbrella. When we refer to LIAs, we are speaking about both LIAs AND Multichannel PLAs, which are rooted in local product data.
What are the available formats for Local Inventory Ads?
LIAs are available on both desktop/tablet and mobile. There are two high level LIA formats, including multichannel ad formats, but keep in mind that multichannel will not show on mobile. For products that are only available online, standard PLAs will show. For items that are available both online and in stores, or only in stores, the following ad variations will be available:
1. Local Inventory Ad – this format shows only products sold in stores and will direct all traffic to a Google Local Storefront.
As these ads are primarily served on mobile devices, the majority of traffic will go to mobile. Many advertisers will see traffic for this ad type on desktop and tablet, although it is typically a minimal amount. This occurs in the following circumstances:
Products that are only available in stores
If your local feed has an item which is only available in-store, Google will display this ad format so all traffic is directed to the storefront.
LIA bids are higher than PLA bids
If your LIA bid was higher than your desktop PLA bid. Some retailers prefer their LIA ad format to show over their standard PLA ad format in order to force traffic to the storefront. After testing LIAs vs standard desktop PLAs, retailers may find that LIAs perform better for certain items in-store and prefer to send traffic to LIAs.
Below is an illustration of the desktop LIA ad format. Notice how the “In store” text is greyed out sending all traffic to the storefront.
2. Multichannel PLA – this format will show for both online and in-store products.
Where will traffic be directed? If a shopper clicks on the map “in store” icon, it will direct the shopper to a local storefront. The data for this can be found in AdWords under Product Listing Ad – MultiChannel Local. If a shopper clicks on the product title, he or she will be directed to the retailer’s website. The data for this can be found in AdWords under Product Listing Ad – MultiChannel Online.
The image below shows an example of a Multichannel PLA, with an example of this ad type highlighted in blue.
LIAs and Multichannel PLAs only show when a shopper is within driving distance of a store, otherwise online PLAs show if eligible. The standard distance to a store is five miles although advertisers have the ability to adjust this.
Interested in learning more about LIAs? Download our latest white paper here which showcases what an LIA rookie – or expert – needs to know to get started with the program.