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Drive Foot Traffic to Your Stores: Google Best Practices

Official guide to using local inventory ads for driving foot traffic to your stores.


Ultimately, whether someone steps into your store after looking online depends on what products are being searched for and what you have in stock. In this section, we’ll review how to best set up and manage what are called local inventory ads for your Shopping campaigns. They show potential customers what’s available in your stores in near real-time through a Google-hosted local storefront.
Shoppers are taken to a Google-hosted local storefront after clicking on a local inventory ad Google-hosted local storefront
Shoppers are taken to a Google-hosted local storefront after they’ve clicked on a local inventory ad. It’s designed to make it easy for shoppers to find your store while also showing them related items.
We’ll show you how to:

  • Set up your local inventory ads and customize who sees these ads based on their device and location
  • Manage your product groups so that you can bid differently based on where products are sold


NOTE: In order to participate in local inventory ads, contact your Google Account Manager and see if you’re eligible. He or she can also work with you to meet the additional product data requirements. Once your account has been made eligible to run this ad format, you can opt your current Shopping campaign into the local setting.

First, let’s think about showing the best ad to shoppers depending on their location, which product they’re searching for, and the device they’re on:

Promote products that are sold at a nearby store using local inventory ads.

Enable ads for products sold in local stores.
Now you can start to show both:

  • Local inventory ads: ads that show users what products are available at a nearby location
  • Multichannel Shopping ads: ads that give users the option to buy online or view product availability at a nearby location

Simply checking this box allows you to customize your ads for shoppers based on their proximity to your stores and what device they’re using:

Shoppers searching for…On a…See a…
Products you sell only onlineDesktop or mobile deviceOnline Shopping ad
Products you sell only in-storeDesktop or mobile deviceLocal inventory ad
Products you sell both online and in-storeDesktopMultichannel Shopping ad
Mobile deviceLocal inventory ad

Mobile devices are restricted to show either one of two ad formats: online Shopping ads or local inventory ads. And since shoppers on a mobile device are likely on the go, you should try to show them a local inventory ad whenever they’re near one of your stores. This way, you can encourage them to engage in person with your nearby business.


Your local storefront also includes a “Buy Online” link, making it possible for shoppers to purchase a product from your website if it’s also available on your site.


Keep your local feeds updated by refreshing your Local Products Feed at least once a week and your Product Inventory Feed at least once a day.


Cosmetics retailer Sephora uses their digital campaigns to drive shoppers into stores. Sephora’s initial testing of local inventory ads saw a return of $8 in store sales for every dollar spent in AdWords. As a result, the company plans to expand their testing with new online-to-store campaigns in AdWords.

Next, you’ll determine how best to bid by a product’s value to your business, which could vary by the channel in which it’s sold.

Segment existing product groups by sales channel.

Let’s say you’re selling winter sports gear. You sell large items like snowboards and skis in your stores, accessories like hats and gloves on your website, and all other apparel through both channels. Given that these product groups are likely to differ in value, let’s subdivide them so that you can bid differently for each.

Step 1: Subdivide your “All products” product group by Channel exclusivity so that you separate products that are sold multi-channel versus just one single channel.

Step 2: Then, subdivide the single-channel product group further by Channel so that you separate products that are sold only in-store and only online.

By structuring your campaign this way, you don’t have to worry about overlapping bids for the same products that are sold both in-store and online.


You can then subdivide and create even more granular product groups based on performance. For example, if Acme Ski Jackets sell well in both channels, you can subdivide your multi-channel product group by the product type and brand attributes and set potentially higher bids for that product group.


Similar to your search campaigns, think about increasing bids for shoppers near your location extension addresses (location bid adjustments) and during store hours (ad scheduling bid adjustments).



Your customers are constantly connected — seize the chance to get your products in front of them, even when they’re on-the-go. Highlight local store information, like proximity and availability, to attract nearby customers, especially on mobile. Having a comprehensive presence will unlock untapped opportunity to drive foot traffic to your stores.


Interested in learning how to analyze how your shopping campaigns and location extensions impact your foot traffic? Check out our guide to Finding Actionable Insights from AdWords Store Visits.


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