Google Adds New Tools to Highlight Physical Store Locations

By Tanner Schroeder | @TannerSchroeder | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Buying in-store is still a big deal for shoppers, and Google has announced a few cool new tools to let physical retailers target those shoppers heading to the stores. These initiatives are coming on the heels of research reporting nearly 80% of shoppers are willing to buy in-store when the items are available immediately. Google is expanding affiliate location extensions, launching new ad options on Display, and introducing competitive pricing insights for bidding strategy.  Let’s take a dive into the new tools and how they can impact performance.

Affiliate Location Extensions

The affiliate location extensions have been available for Search and Display campaigns for nearly two years now. The extensions are available for brands that sell products through retail chains or for auto dealers. To set up an affiliate extension, the advertiser can choose from a list of national retailers that might sell their product. Once the list is created and added to campaigns, the extension shows when one of the retailers is nearby someone searching for your product, leading to a local in-store sale. With the latest update, Google has now expanded this option to True-View video campaigns on YouTube. The extension is an option for both in-stream and bumper ads. Per Google, adding the affiliate extensions to YouTube campaigns has reported an increase in CTR by over 15%.

Affiliate Price Extensions
Image via Google

Local Catalog Ads

While the affiliate extensions are primarily for products in retail chains, Google has also introduced a new type of Display ad that can be used by any physical business retailer. The new local catalog ads for Display campaigns. The ads are an interactive experience, with a main hero image and an inventory of your items that show in-store availability and pricing information.

Catalog Ads
Image via Google

The ads are easy to create, as Google has also created a local feed partnership program that allows select point-of-sale and inventory data providers to send sales and inventory data directly to Google for merchants. This cuts out the step of having to create a local product feed, saving time on getting products listed. Boulanger, an electronics and appliances store in France used the new ads for a spring 2018 promotion and the campaign drove over 20 thousand in-store visits and a 420% ROAS. If you are itching to try out these new ads, but aren’t seeing the new ads in your account yet, don’t worry. The new ads will be rolled out to all advertisers by the end of the month.

Competitive Pricing Insights

Coming soon to AdWords are new price benchmarks. These benchmarks will show advertisers how competitors are pricing similar products. The new tool will be useful for a few reasons. First off, you can use the tool as a radar for your current strategy on price competitive products. If you see competitors are raising or lowering prices, you adjust your bids to stay competitive or save budget. The tool can also be used for analysis on if competitor pricing is creating a drop or bump in sales.

Price Benchmarks
Image via Google

Conclusion

Google’s latest products are great for any retailer using AdWords. For the large brands in national retailers, the affiliate extensions in YouTube are advantageous for future media campaigns. For physical stores of all sizes, the new catalog ads showing in-store availability will be interesting to test as well. Finally, the new price benchmarks will allow for new insights into account strategy for any commerce client. How do you feel about the recent updates? Have you had the opportunity to test any of the new tools? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter!

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