Google has announced two new local features for product listing ads (PLAs) to a limited number of U.S. retailers: local availability and local storefronts. These ads will tell customers when a product is available for purchase in a local physical store.
When someone searches Google for a product and clicks on one of the new local PLAs, that person will then be taken to a new “local storefront”. In addition to providing business details (store hours, address, and the ability to call, get directions, or buy online from the retailer’s website), the local storefront will show the product, price, and availability, as well as related items.
Here’s what the local PLAs look like on a mobile device:
And on desktop:
On desktop, local PLAs can also appear in the right column in addition to above the organic results.
Advertisers will be charged whenever someone clicks on a PLA to go to the local storefront. There are no charges for clicks or other actions taken from the local storefront.
Google pulls the local availability information from a local product feed, which you manage through the Google Merchant Center. You can find more information on how to set up local availability for PLAs here.
“For online retailers the important thing is to understand what Google is doing, and where they will be headed,” said Mary Weinstein, director of content at CPC Strategy. “Google is moving to provide local service, and potentially an online markeplace. Online retailers should have compatibility with Google Wallet, Google+ profiles, and pristine data feeds. Big picture is retailers should be doing everything to get on board with Google now, so they are positioned for success later.”
While this program is still invitation-only, Google has added a form if you’d like to get on the list for local PLAs. A Google spokesperson said they will be watching feedback and performance carefully before rolling out the local features to more retailers.