Now that COVID vaccines are available to everyone 12 years of age and older, children may be more likely to return to school this fall, which means many retailers are preparing for back-to-school shopping. To highlight a few options that can help retailers optimize for both in-store and online back-to-school shoppers, Google has published a list of local ads solutions.
Get your local inventory online. Businesses that don’t yet have a local inventory feed can use Pointy from Google, a hardware device that attaches to a point-of-sale barcode scanner to pull its title, image and description to add it to Surfaces across Google. For eligible retailers in the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland, Pointy is free until September 30.
Local inventory ads. Retailers can bring their brick-and-mortar store online with local inventory ads. Local inventory ads also enable stores to indicate whether products are available for immediate curbside pickup or pickup later.
Local promotions, which are available in beta to merchants participating in local inventory ads and promotions in Australia, France, Germany, the UK, Canada and the U.S., can also be used to show store-specific offers.
Promote your locations. According to Ipsos data commissioned by Google, 60% of back-to-school shoppers plan to do at least a portion of their shopping at a small business this year. Local campaigns, which measure and optimize specifically for store visits and local actions (calls and clicks to driving directions), can help businesses take advantage of this by enabling them to promote their locations across Google Maps, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the Google Display Network.
Optimize for online and in-store. Advertisers can include store visits in Smart Bidding to help them grow sales both in-store and online.
Why we care. More than half of North American back-to-school shoppers say they’ll check for in-store inventory online before going into a store and 48% will shop at stores that offer curbside pickup or contactless shipping, according to Ipsos data commissioned by Google. Promoting your in-store inventory, pickup options and locations can help retailers make the most of these consumer preferences and potentially sell more products.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your shop’s visibility for free across Google, check out our resource “FAQ: All about Google Shopping and Surfaces across Google.”