If the pandemic has changed one thing about retail shopping, it’s that consumers now want ultimate convenience and expect to know inventory levels at brick and mortar stores before they ever consider placing a purchase.
Have ample inventory to meet the booming shop online, pick up in-store trend, and you could be handsomely rewarded with consistent and new business. But, if you fail to keep inventory stocked, expect to see a sudden and rapid decline in the number of shoppers.
One way that consumers are leveraging the internet to know where to get the items they need the most is through the “shop near me” feature in the Google search bar inquiry. This feature alone has seen a 300% increase over the past two years and with massive inventory stock-outs still so fresh in the post-pandemic consumer’s mind, this is a trend that is not likely to fade in 2021.
This is why tapping into the visibility power of Google Local Inventory Ads can be the best go-to option for retailers looking to advertise to this new convenience consumer.
What are they?
Google Local Inventory Ads enable businesses to showcase their products and store information to nearby shoppers searching with Google. For example, when a shopper clicks on your Google ad, they will be instantly redirected to a Google-hosted webpage, called the “local storefront”. This is where they will be able to see in-store inventory levels, get accurate store hours, find directions, contact the store directly, and even see what other shipping options you offer.
And, if you’re considering investing in Google Local Inventory Ads as a way to boost your retail foot traffic and sales, here are three things to know:
Easily showcase and promote your in-store inventory.
According to Google, over 50% of all consumers search what’s in stock at retail stores before visiting the store. That way, if you can promote your inventory levels to consumers at the point when they are actively searching for the products you offer, then you’ll be strategically positioned to get the sale.
The more consumers know who has immediate availability for the products they want, you’ll also likely see a boost in natural word-of-mouth advertising which is always a plus to your bottom line!
Give your retail location an online presence.
As a retailer, you cannot afford to go without an online presence in this new post-pandemic business landscape. Having an online storefront (as a minimum) will enable consumers to find you and learn more about what you offer in their local area. Since the local storefront is a Google-hosted webpage, this is a quick and highly-effective way to get a steady flow of in-store retail foot traffic without spending money on building a website or having to create an entire e-commerce channel.
Quickly measure the success of your online ads.
The power of local inventory ads through Google is your ability to monitor their performance in real-time. With Google’s expansive host of analytics tools, you’ll be able to easily track the impact your digital ads have on increasing retail foot traffic to your physical stores. And, if a highly effective and relatively low-cost way to crank up your marketing, then local inventory ads can be a win-win.
In addition, you can feature other convenient shopping options for those consumers in your local area, such as buy online, pick up in-store or free ship-to-home shipping for online orders. Making your shipping and inventory options as visible as possible for the convenience-minded consumer alone could skyrocket both your e-commerce traffic and get more people in your retail locations ready to buy.