Waze Launches Ads For Small Businesses

Waze, the Google-owned navigation app, branched out to small business owners Wednesday with its introduction of Waze Local. It will now allow small businesses to buy local advertising such as branded pins, paid-search ads, and pop-ups.

The ads on Waze integrate into the map and the navigation features of the platform. The local takeover ads -- which Waze calls “Zero-Speed Takeover" -- appear as a large banner ad across the top third of the screen when the person using the app stops for more than three seconds at any location.

The promoted search ads appear at the top of search results and include the brand logo. The branded pins serve up along the driving route.

Waze will charge for the ads based on a cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) basis. Major brands previously had the ability to buy Waze ads for a minimum of $850 per day. Local ads lower that cost to as little as $2 per day on a CPM.

Reporting now also becomes available in real-time. Metrics that are available to business owners include impressions, clicks, navigations, call/URL and info button clicks, and more.

Google released data that estimates U.S, businesses advertising on Waze Local will see a 20.4% increase in monthly navigations to their physical locations. One early advertiser — Kung Fu Tea — saw more than 5,500 drivers navigating via Waze Local to 16 Kung Fu Tea locations during its three months of testing.  

In 2017, more than 3.3 million people — an average of more than 9,000 per day — used Waze to visit local U.S. businesses that advertised on the platform.

There are two packages available to small business owners. The Starter, a self-service package, became available Wednesday in more than 55 countries for companies that have about 10 locations.

The plus package is available in U.S., Brazil, France, Mexico and Israel. This one, which requires an investment $100 per day investment, supports up to 50 locations and includes everything in the Starter package, as well as Zero-Speed Takeover ads, time scheduling targeting, live support for account setup, phone support and billing via invoice.

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