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Google Local Inventory Ads: how does it work?

Do Google's Local Inventory Ads, sometimes nicknamed LIA, represent the much-vaunted El Dorado for e-commerce companies?Β 

As is often the case in digital marketing, it's possible: it's all a question of optimization.Β 

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The aim remains to help the most reputable brands improve their online and in-store sales experience in order to increase their conversion rate.

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Offered as part of Google Ads, Local Inventory Ads aim to promote e-tailers' product inventory to local audiences, close to their points of sale.Β 

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Let's take a look at how optimized use of these ads can make the investment in Google media campaigns more profitable.

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Here we go!

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What are Google Local Inventory Ads?

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Google Local Inventory Ads, or LIAs, are advertisements.

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They enable sellers to promote products available in physical stores online, directly on Google.

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In everyday practice, a web surfer performing a local search on Google will see these ads displayed in the results.

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They show her the products available in a nearby store.

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Users can also access real-time information on stock levels.Β 

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By establishing an instant link between web browsing and in-store experience, LIAs provide an effective response to the needs of modern consumers.Β 

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These customers often need fast availability and proximity, while looking for the ease of online purchasing.

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In concrete terms, this means that physical store traffic can increase dramatically, as can sales.

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What does a Local Inventory Ads ad look like?

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The composition of a Google Local Inventory Ads ad can vary endlessly, but is made up of both visual and informative elements.

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This advert includes a photo of the product, as well as its price and information on its availability in stores.Β 

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It may also include a clickable link to the merchant's product page.

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The principle is that when the user clicks on the ad, he or she is redirected to a local page hosted by Google, presenting a number of additional details about the product and the store where it is located.

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Because they are designed precisely to appeal to the user by diverting their attention, LIAs are by nature visually appealing and informatively effective.

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They are usually found at the very top of Google search results, or by opening Google's "Shopping" tab, which increases both their visibility and conversion potential.

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πŸ‘‰ See also: 12 simple tips to improve your Google Shopping ranking

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The benefits of using Google Local Inventory Ads

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For e-tailers, using Google Local Inventory Ads offers a number of advantages.

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First and foremost, Google Local Inventory Ads help to increase in-store traffic.Β 

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Thanks to Google LIAs, consumers are encouraged to visit a store to purchase a product they are certain is physically available.

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Without it, the store would have had fewer customers.

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Secondly, LIAs improve the customer experience.Β 

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Indeed, the accuracy of the information provided by LIAs, for example in terms of product availability, can help avoid stock-out problems.Β 

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By avoiding disappointments linked to product availability, and therefore stock, the customer experience is more likely to be positive.

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Then, the products visible in Google LIA become more competitive.

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Because capturing local buyers is one of the missions of LIAs, your products stand out from online competitors who don't use them.Β 

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So it's a good way of hoping to overtake the competition!

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Last but not least, Google LIA lets you manage your inventory more effectively.Β 

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For physical retailers who use LIAs, the display of products, sold or not, in real time is an invaluable tool.Β 

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Over-stocking and managing unsold stock are always problematic and costly, so using LIAs allows you to optimize your stock.

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LIAs are therefore an integral part of any marketing strategy.Β 

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They enable retailers not only to boost local sales, but also to enhance their presence on the Internet as much as in real life.

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πŸ‘‰ See also: What is AB Testing?

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How do I place an ad?

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Launching a campaign based on Google Local Inventory Ads involves a number of important steps.Β 

Here's how to follow them:

1. Start by creating a Merchant Center accountΒ 

To do this, you need to register with Google Merchant Center.

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Then configure your account.

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You integrate information about your physical store, which necessarily includes the products sold there, their prices and availability.

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2. Set up a local product feed, by creating a Google LIA feed.Β 

This should include the most detailed information possible about the products, if they are available in the store.

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These include product descriptions, prices, SKUs and, of course, available quantities.

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πŸ‘‰ Discover our DataΓ―ads Feed technology

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3. Establish the link between Google Ads and Merchant Center

It's essential to be able to take control of your Google LIA campaigns, as this allows you to manage them from within Google Ads while maintaining a clear overview.

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4. Create campaign in Google Ads

Once the new shopping campaign has been created, start by searching for the Local Inventory option.Β 

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Then configure your targeting parameters, budgets and bids.Β 

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A properly configured ad has every chance of being well optimized, and therefore more visible and effective.

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5. Monitoring and improving Ads and Google LIA campaigns

By using the reporting and tracking tools included in Google, you can monitor the performance of LIA ads in real time.

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This will enable you to make adjustments based on the results of reporting.

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πŸ‘‰ Read also: Advertising performance and user experience: towards a reconciliation?

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Optimizing LIA campaigns

Studying performance reports at the end of your campaigns is therefore essential.

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Using this information, you can optimize your in-store advertising campaigns in a targeted way.Β 

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However, there are a number of ways in which we can optimize our operations.

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Modulate your budget management to suit your needs

You have two options: either merge the LIA budget and the Google Shopping budget, or separate them.Β 

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In the first case, this can make it easier to categorize your products; in the second, you'll have more precise control over your expenses.Β 

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Adding a "channel=store" inventory filter to your LIA ads, by creating separate campaigns, gives you better control over your budget and allows you to adjust your bids if necessary.

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Make your ads mobile-friendly

At a time when the vast majority of traffic passes through smartphones, and knowing that your ads are linked to local queries, optimizing them for mobile is essential.

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The entireexperience must be adapted for mobile, from the click on the ad to the purchase process. The landing page plays an important role in conversion.

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Fine-tune your location criteria

This is important, because consumers are more likely to visit a store if it's close by.

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Your bids must be adjusted to reach a really active target, in an area consistent with your store's location.

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Take store opening hours into account

It's common sense to make your ads visible even when the store is open.

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Think broader, too, taking into account special events or periods such as the festive season, Black Friday or sales.

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πŸ‘‰ See also: How can you accelerate your e-commerce with Product Listing Ads?

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Why and how to improve campaign ROI with Google Local Inventory Ads

Google Local Inventory Ads is able to meet two important challenges.Β 

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The first of these challenges is to face up to increasingly fierce and skilled competition when it comes to acquiring traffic via search engines.Β 

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By diversifying your acquisition methods, you'll increase your chances of standing out from the crowd.Β 

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The second challenge is toadapt to omnichannel consumption (physical store, delivery, drive to store...), and above all to the widespread use of cell phones.

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What's more, local queries are on the rise, which corresponds to the solutions provided by LIAs.Β 

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LIA ads respond to these challenges in a cost-effective way, drastically optimizing the ROI of your shopping campaigns.Β 

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They rely on position history, often activated on smartphones, to trigger relevant ads tailored to the local market.

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This increases both online and store traffic, doubling or even tripling ROI.

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Examples of Google Local Inventory Ads

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LIA ads are used by a number of physical retail chains, which have seen their results increase dramatically.

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Example of Google LIA with Conforama

French leader in home furnishings and equipment, saw its ROI more than double after the judicious implementation of an LIA shopping campaign.

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Incremental traffic on smartphones increased by 36%.

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The PetSmart retail chain

Specialized in pet supplies, was able to increase its sales by 6% thanks to LIA ads.

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In particular, the company saw a 122% increase in click-through rates, as well as a 6% improvement in conversion rates.

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IKEA product campaigns in GermanyΒ 

The IKEA Group has chosen LIA ads to promote products sold in its physical stores in Germany.

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This resulted in a 14% increase in local sales. In detail, the click-through rate increased by 45% and the local impression rate by 31%.

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*****

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Ideal for showcasing your physical inventory online, LIA ads target people close to your stores by associating them with their needs expressed via a Google query.Β 

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They are also well suited to the drive-to-store concept.Β 

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Because they're linked to Google's analytics tools, it's easy to measure their impact on your sales, including in-store.Β 

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There are a few prerequisites to bear in mind, such as having a Google Ads account and a Google Merchant Center account, and the fact that Google will need a certain amount of fairly precise information about your stores, your goods for sale and various local data.Β 

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Well-executed LIA ads can have a positive impact on the visibility of your stores, inventories and online sites, and on your sales.

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