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Earlier this year, Google teased several updates for Local campaigns. The new features, including new Maps inventory for Local campaigns, are rolling out over the coming weeks. Shopping campaigns are also getting updates for brick-and-mortar promotions and optimization.
Why we should care. Some 90% or so of retail sales still happen offline. From store visits and store purchases measurement to Local Inventory Ads to the fully-automated Local campaigns, Google has focused on building out advertising capabilities for brick-and-mortar and hybrid retailers across its properties. The updates announced Tuesday are a continuation of these efforts.
More local business goals. When automated Local campaigns launched, they were intended solely to drive foot traffic to stores, and store visits were the only conversion mechanism to optimize against. Now Local campaigns support other goals such as calls or directions that don’t require store visits measurement to be enabled.
Local campaign product catalogs on Display Network. Local campaign advertisers can soon upload a local product feed and select a set of products to feature in ads that can run across the Google Display network. The ads, shown in the example below, feature the store’s hours, a banner image and specific items available at the nearby location.
Local campaign Promoted Pins in Maps directions. Taking a page from (Google-owned) Waze ads, in the coming weeks, Local campaigns advertisers can have their locations show up when users are getting directions in Maps. The gif below shows an example of a Dunkin stop along a route. Users can tap the pin to show the full promoted listing and click “Add stop” to make it a stop along their route.
Shopping campaigns “Store pick up” details. The Buy Online Pick Up In-store (BOPIS) feature available for Shopping campaign advertisers that run Local Inventory Ads (LIA) ads is getting more granular with “Pick up today” and “Pick up later” offers.
Currently in beta, instead of simply saying “Store pickup” in ads as LIAs currently can, merchants can highlight whether products are immediately available for “Pick up today” after purchasing online or if they can be ordered now and shipped for in-store “Pick up later.”
If you’re interested in this beta contact your Google rep. The store pickup feature is compatible with merchants running on Google Hosted Local Storefront or on Merchant Hosted Local Storefront Full or Basic.
Store visits bidding for Shopping and Smart Shopping. In September, Google enabled advertisers to use store visits as a conversion metric for smart bidding optimization in Search campaigns. In the coming weeks, advertisers running Shopping or Smart Shopping campaigns can add store visits to their smart bidding strategies to optimize for foot traffic.