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Lure-in Nearby Shoppers With Local Inventory Ads

Lauren Lawson

4 years ago



Local Inventory Ads for Shopping Campaigns

It’s all about leveraging a local digital storefront to dive into creating an omnichannel campaign. Through Local Inventory Ads (LIA), Google and Microsoft showcase shopping ads to nearby customers in need of immediate business information such as in-store inventory, directions, store hours, and now with Covid-19, preventive measures, and curbside pick-up options.

When was the last time you shopped locally without needing to search online for information before deciding to visit and purchase at a local store?

How LIAs Accentuate Your Clients’ Business

When it comes to your client’s PPC management, you should not just stick to ordinary online shopping ads. Here’s why you should be doing more:

Digital Local Storefront

Giving a physical store a virtual entity online can provide easily accessible information such as business directions, product availability, store hours, and pick-up options. This will enhance your clients’ brand awareness and conversions from physical store traffic.

Pro Tip: Use the Google-hosted local storefront and storefront hosting for Local Inventory Ads by Microsoft Ads.

According to Think with Google, searches for “shopping near me” have grown 200% in the past two years, which means higher conversion rates from foot traffic at physical stores.

Digital Storefront with Local Inventory Ads

Convert Online to Offline Clients

Besides just opting to track in-store purchases, LIAs also give you the choice to keep an eye on those that result in online shopping.

Add the store visits goal to optimize for both online and in-store purchases.

Local Store Visits Google Ads

Be Informative on Availability

You can win points for your clients’ business, ensuring they can give customers product information they need precisely when they need it.

Local Inventory Ads

Analyze Sales

While Google Ads provides Store Visit data to gain insight on the offline influence of your LIAs, Google Analytics can also support both Google and Microsoft Ads shopping campaign efforts. It provides accurate multidimensional views of online and offline conversion data that help identify how LIAs are performing.

Where Shoppers Are Searching

With most buyers shopping from home this year, there are many options where local inventory can be highlighted.


  • Search – search engine results
  • Assistant – “Hey Google”
  • Images – for visual shoppers


  • Microsoft Bing Image Search results
  • Free Product Listings on Microsoft Bing’s Shopping tab

Before Getting Started, Checklist Your Clients’ Business For Requirements

Quick-Step Setup for Local Inventory Ads

Google Local Inventory Ads - Campaign Setup for Retail Stores

Microsoft Advertising Local Inventory Ads - Quick Setup Guide for Marketers

Google and Microsoft Ads 5-Step Process

LIAs require a few platforms to be aligned, so double-check and ensure your clients are set.

Step 1: Accounts Setup


  • Google Ads Account
    • The managed shopping campaign should be linked to the client’s Merchant account.
  • Merchant Center
    • Set-up a Merchant Center account if you haven’t already and upload the client’s business logo.
  • Google My Business
    • Create and verify with information on clients’ business locations. This will help generate the store’s unique identifier, which is needed to create a local feed.


  • Store Location Data

Step 2: Green Light Local Inventory Ads

After all accounts have been created and set up, it’s time to enable LIAs in your Merchant Center settings.


  • Sign in to Google Merchant Center.
  • Click Growth in the navigation menu> Manage programs>Get started on the LIAs card.
  • Confirm that qualifications are fulfilled.
  • Click the plus button>Choose the country where your physical stores are located.


  • Upload online products information (optional):
    • Upload online products through Microsoft Merchant Center. If you are already using Microsoft Shopping Campaigns, this step may not be required.

Step 3: Create and Review Product Feeds

For Local Inventory Ads to work seamlessly, you will need to make sure you have set up the following feeds:


  • Google Shopping Feed – quickly review that there is an active google product feed.
  • Local Products Feed – list available products at each of the store locations.
  • Local Product Inventory Feed – a list that contains product attributes, i.e., price, inventory, and geo-location data.
  • Business Information Feed – information about each store; this supports Google My Business.


Create and submit local products feeds through Microsoft Merchant Center.

  • The feed file should be in tab-delimited plain text with the following extensions: .txt, .zip, .gz, .gzip, .tar.gz, .tgz.
  • Review attributes that must be included for local product inventory feeds.
  • To submit the local products feeds:
    • Global menu > click Tools and then Microsoft Merchant Center.
    • Page menu > click Feeds > create feed.
    • Enter Feed information. Feed name > select the Location > Local product or Local product inventory from Feed type.
    • Select the Input Method > Click Create feed.

Pro Tip: Review up SERP visibility and conversion rate by establishing an optimization frequency for your product feeds.

Step 4: Verify Inventory Feeds


Submit for verification in your clients’ Merchant Center once the information for all feeds has been updated. As soon as Google has reviewed your request, an actual representative will go out and check on your client’s store to corroborate what was submitted via local product feed.

Tip: Make it a habit to ensure client information and product feeds are always up-to-date. You don’t want Google to check-in while your client business storefront is unprepared.


Create and submit a local products inventory feed for your LIAs. Follow step three to submit your feed.

Pro Tip: Your clients’ product stock price and quantity may frequently change by store location. Therefore, it’s a good idea to submit a local products update feed in this case.

Step 5: Run LIAs Through Shopping Campaigns

Everything is set, and you are now ready to see what LIA’s will do for your client’s business.

  • Navigate to Settings > select Shopping Settings (Advanced).
  • Check the enable local inventory ads box.

Tips for Your Strategies with Local Inventory Ad Campaigns

  • Increase bids during business hours and for nearby shoppers by using the location extension bid modifier.
  • Add BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) and store pickup options.
    • Convenience and prompt availability are essential for improved conversion rates.
    • Add a Curbside pick-up badge.

Stats on US consumers using BOPIS services

  • Increase bids for mobile devices; LIA’s are triggered within a 25- to 35-mile radius of the client’s storefront.
  • Use Shopping Ads and LIAs in joint campaign efforts.
    • Increase client reach.
    • You can still target customers whether they’re near your clients’ business or not.
  • If you manage many locations, try testing LIAs on a few initially to see the results they yield.
  • Keeping inventory up-to-date can be challenging. Therefore, if you have many products, start with the ones your clients’ business is less likely to have run out of stock.
  • Make sure you take advantage of LIAs full real estate by:
    • Providing a good description of the clients’ product or business
    • Linking your website and specific landing pages
    • Mapping and navigation directions to the store
    • Adding a Phone number
    • Updating hours of operation
  • Use filters to subdivide by channel and channel exclusivity, which will allow you to place separate bidding.
    • Channel = products online or local availability
    • Channel exclusivity = products by availability in one of the channels or both
    • Set channel to local and channel exclusivity to single-channel = products sold exclusively at the client’s local store

Types of Marketing Channels

Team With a White Label PPC Partner to Get the Job Done

When it comes to Local Inventory Ads, things can get a bit overwhelming given the process it takes to set them up and ongoing optimizations.

If time or resources or both are not on your side, you may be limited in offering these types of ads to your clients. It may be time to explore white label marketing options to fulfill your agency’s needs and goals.

Book a meeting to let us understand your business model needs and show you how our solution can surpass your expectations regarding PPC marketing.