Eighty-one percent of consumers start the product research process online.1 Despite this, the vast majority, 90%2, still prefer to make their final purchase in a store. Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) are the ideal digital ad format to turn these online browsers into storefront buyers. If you’re a retailer with both a digital and brick-and-mortar presence, you’ll want to take note of Google’s newest LIA formats.
In-Store Pickup: This format is an open Beta for advertisers who meet Google’s requirements and allows customers to buy online and pick up in store.
Local Universal/Maps: This format launched fully in Q2 this year and enables online shoppers to search local inventory via a link in the local knowledge panel.
Google Now In-Store Cards: This format has launched fully and is triggered when a user is near a participating retailers store location in Google Now.
One of our clients with over 700 brick-and-mortar stores uses LIAs to show online shoppers what items are in stock at nearby storefronts. This is a win-win situation for both the consumer and the retailer. The shopper gets what they’re looking for quickly and skips shipping costs while the retailer maintains customer loyalty and gains the edge over their online competitors. We looked at how LIAs perform compared to their standard PLAs and the results were significant. LIAs had a 2.5x greater return on ad spend (ROAS) while conversion rate (CVR) and click-through-rate (CTR) were also higher than their standard PLAs.
When we looked at performance of LIAs across all of our clients, the average ROAS was 4x that of standard PLAs across all devices, and CTR and revenue both had a 25% increase on average for mobile LIAs.
LIA best practices that you can use this holiday season:
- Use LIAs to capture last minute holiday shoppers who need gifts, but are out of the standard shipping time frame.
- Lean on PLAs and LIAs to combat Amazon since they are currently not running on those ad units.
- Increase bids on products which may be out of stock online but are still available in-store.
- LIAs are an excellent way to promote Holiday and End of Year Store Sales – if your retail location is having a sale you could bid up for that location temporarily.
- Increase bids on products that sell best in your individual local stores as well as those which are most searched for online.
- Ensure mobile bids are sufficiently high to capture LIA traffic.
- Increase bids for high-end, specialty, or high priced products which consumers prefer to see in person. For example, high-end electronics and high-tech products, jewelry, luxury goods etc.
- Set up a different radius and location bid adjustment for your businesses within a wider geographical location. For example, all stores within a major metropolitan area. NYC is an excellent example for this.
- Use LIAs to promote store only products.
- Be sure to keep bids higher during the hours when your local retail store is open.
Do you have an LIA success story, best practice, or tip to add? Share it in the comment box below!
1 Retailing Today: 81% research online before making big purchases
2 A.T. Kearney Omni-channel Shopping Preferences Study