Google announced a series of product updates for Local campaigns on Tuesday aimed at helping retailers share more information with consumers viewing their ads.
The updates include Automatic Optimization across desktop and mobile, including clicks on calls or direction buttons across Google and Google Maps, as well as a new set-up for Location Extensions to make it easier for major retailers to set up extensions by selecting their chain store locations from a curated list from Google.
The changes were made to provide retailers with more options and less red tape as they approach the holiday season. For example, retailers will have options to highlight deals on Shopping.
This holiday season will become more important for retail stores to confirm hours of operation and whether items are in stock at the local store. Consumers want to stay safe, so many said they will confirm hours and inventory and take advantage of services like curbside pickup.
A recent Google survey estimates 67% of holiday shoppers said they will confirm online that an item is in stock before going to the store to buy it.
Google Maps has become an important retail tool. With Local campaigns, retailers can connect with nearby customers when they are searching or browsing for businesses across Maps, Search, YouTube and Display.
Businesses are using Local campaigns to share open status, provide health and safety updates, or highlight in-store options like curbside pickup and promotions on a store-by-store basis. Starting today, retailers can optimize Local campaigns for store visit indicators such as clicks on “directions” or “calls.”
Retailers can help consumers by using location extensions. These allow retailers to show ads with the address, a map to the location, or the distance to the business. Consumers can then use location groups to filter specific locations.
Major retailers can set up location extensions by selecting their store locations from a curated list from Google. Google's curated location lists allow retailers to use the same location information that powers Google Maps.
Deals and expanded sales filters will launch this holiday season. The features are aimed at shoppers searching for items on sale or Black Friday deals. The expanded filters will appear on Google Shopping.
As consumer behavior continues to change, Google will offer retailers the ability to run flash sales and last-minute discounts with near instant promotion approvals on eligible offers. They also will have the ability to edit promotions without a review process.