Here at PMG we’re lucky enough to work with some of the biggest and coolest brands around. Along with bragging rights, this affords us the opportunity to engage in new and awesome betas with Google, Bing, & Yahoo. One of the coolest betas to come around in a while is Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIAs).
What in the World are LIAs?
LIAs are a form of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) designed to make local stores’ inventories accessible to people shopping online. They basically look like any other PLA except underneath the image and site there is a small map pin icon and “In Store” signifying that these products are in a nearby store’s in stock inventory.
If you click on the ad, instead of directing you to the relevant product page on the ecommerce site, LIAs direct you to a special page that utilizes store location and inventory information to provide shoppers with local stores that have the product they want in stock right now and directions for the easiest way to get there.
How Do I Use LIAs?
Because LIAs are somewhat difficult to set up, right now Google is only working with select merchants. Running LIAs requires a brand to have 4 different feeds all acting in conjunction: an online products feed (the feed necessary to run Google Shopping Campaigns), a business information feed setup in Google My Business, a local products feed (lists which products are available in stores), and a local product inventory feed.
Once all of these feeds are in place, you can run, optimize, and manage LIAs in a similar way to how you would manage PLAs with all inventory and discontinued product issues being managed by the feeds.
Why are LIAs a BIG Deal?
Google has completed a variety of case studies involving LIAs (some involving PMG’s clients!) and a large part of the reason these are going to be a big deal is because of the massive performance seen with some of the Alpha and Beta partners. Some large retailers are seeing LIAs drive more in-store visits than large scale TV buys and others are seeing absolutely massive ROIs.
It has also recently come out that Google is going to start favoring LIAs over PLAs, meaning that if any of your competitors are running LIAs they may soon have a leg up on you in areas where they have brick and mortar locations.