Just a week ago, Google quietly announced three big updates:
- Shopping ads can now be found on the images tab.
- A “Store Pickup” option can be added to Google hosted product pages.
- The knowledge panel now includes a link to search all local store inventory.
At the center of the last two is a growing focus on providing better information for keywords with local intent. With oft cited statistics around the growth of “…near me” search queries, Google recently introduced Local Inventory Ads. LIA’s are a useful ad format displaying the availability of specific products in physical stores near you.
Now, they have added yet another local element with a “Store Pickup” link that can be found on the Google hosted product page the user lands on after clicking through the inventory Link.
According to Google, participants in the pilot program saw a 40 to 50% increase in click-throughs from the Google hosted page to the retailer’s site with this feature (AdWords Blog).
The second update is a bit broader in scope – Google is incorporating searchable inventory to knowledge panels brought up by local intent keywords. In the example below, a user searches for a nearby Stables, clicks through the “Search items at this store link” and from there can seek out specific products and see their availability in-store. Pretty nifty!
From a user perspective these are useful new features I’m happy to see added! As a marketer, I’d be curious to see how performance compares (and perhaps have more control) in the various locations shopping ads are now found. As for the local inventory this is very much aligned with the mobile-first direction Google has voiced of late. With Google continuing to push ad formats that support these micro-moments of “I need this now”, late adapters will be forced to wonder (and perhaps worry), at what point will those ads that cater to local intent be explicitly given preferential treatment in the auction environment.
More information can be found via the AdWords blog, here.