As shopkeepers increasingly see online tools as an impactful way to drive footfall, we’re receiving a growing volume of requests to help set up Google Local Inventory Ads. This is something NearSt can do automatically for you, but in case you want to do it yourself we’ve set out the steps below.
Setting up Google Local Inventory Ads
With some technical know-how and a good amount of patience and persistence, it’s possible to set up Google Local Inventory Ads yourself. These are the steps you need to follow to set them up successfully:
- Set up your accounts - The steps you need to take to set up a Google Merchant Centre, Google My Business, and Google Ads account for your business, before linking them
- Enable local inventory ads - You must explicitly enable Local Inventory Ads within your Merchant Centre account
- Verify your About page - An EU specific requirement showing regulatory details about your business
- Create a local products feed - This is a regular upload you must send to Google containing titles, descriptions, high-resolution images, and other details about your products
- Create a local product inventory feed - This is a frequent upload showing the quantities and prices of the products in each of your stores
- Register and submit local feeds - Once the feeds are set up, you need to register them with Google so they know which store the feeds are from
- Request inventory verification - After confirming your feeds, Google will arrange for someone to visit your stores to verify their accuracy
- Enable local in your Shopping campaigns - Once all of the above is confirmed you can enable Local Inventory Ads in Google Shopping and set up your campaigns
What blocks stores setting up Google Local Inventory Ads themselves?
74% of stores that contact us have tried setting up Local Inventory Ads themselves but gave up during the process, most often because of the time and complexity involved. Here’s what we’ve learned from stores who’ve tried it themselves:
- Many shops found that verifying their store in Google Merchant Centre took more than a week
- Stores that were able to get feeds set up found they often didn’t meet Google’s inventory accuracy requirements once the in-store verification took place - typically a half-day process - requiring multiple re-verifications taking several weeks to complete.
- Most Inventory Management or Point of Sale systems don’t provide a connection to Google, requiring a manual daily export of the product and inventory feeds.
- Stores using Inventory Management and POS systems that do offer automated connections to Google struggled to get through the eight Local Inventory Ads steps above.
- Many businesses were disappointed that they could only use the paid Google Local Inventory Ads, and not the full range of Google Local Listing products, which require a high-frequency upload of inventory data to Google.
- Some retailers were confused about the difference between “Google Shopping Ads” and “Google Local Inventory Ads”. Connecting a website to Google enables “Shopping Ads” but doesn’t enable “Local Inventory Ads”.
How NearSt can help
As a Trusted Google Local Feeds Partner, our main role is to help shops get set up on Local Inventory Ads on behalf of Google. Our technology and Google-certified team complete the end-to-end setup for you, ensuring that your products are appearing quickly and your Local Inventory Ads are properly reaching local shoppers and sending them to your store.
We do all this for a low monthly fee. This includes onboarding and technology setup, direct support, an easy to understand insights and results dashboard, and a full report at the end of your one month trial of Local Inventory Ads.