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Google Bring Changes To Shopping Ads and Local Inventory Ads

Google Bring Changes To Shopping Ads and Local Inventory Ads

Today there are 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions across the globe. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 6.1 smartphone users in this world. Well, that’s huge! There is hardly any doubt with the shifting trends of desktop to smartphones.

People doing online shopping across the globe increased from 10% to 85% in two years.

Therefore, to keep up with this dominating fact in the market, Google has come up with some new changes. There are new features for Local Inventory Ads and update on Purchases by Google. It has added images and introduced local inventory features. This is the first time Google has added ads to the image section. The ads will appear next to the related products photos in the Google image sections, which will help users interested in buying to click on the images and find retailer’s website.

Before we discuss the what and how of this new change. Let us discuss what are Local Inventory Ads and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) by Google…

What are Local Inventory ads?


Source: Google dot com

These ads by Google are designed in order to make the inventory in your local stores accessible to people who are shopping online. The product information is as rich as those of shopping ads, in addition, it also highlights the in-store availability of your inventory.

When someone clicks the local inventory ads, they will visit a local storefront page for the seller’s store and can view inventory, store hours, directions to the location, and more.

Local inventory ads are combined with shopping ads in their own box on Google search and Google Shopping. A single Google Search results page could show local inventory ads, text ads, and shopping ads. This helps in giving shoppers access to the full variety of products that are coherent with their search.

What are Product Listing Ads?



The cost per click (CPC) ads which are purchased by online merchants via AdWords. These ads appear on Google Search Pages at the top of the results. Product Listing Ads have a featured image of a product and are tailored towards products and its categories.

Changes in Product Listing Ads and Local Inventory Ads

Google Announced at Shoptalk in Las Vegas on 16th May that Product Listing Ads will get access to more inventory and retailers running local inventory will experience some new features.

“Whether they’re looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most,” Jonathan Alferness, Product Management, Google Shopping

Product Listing Ads (PLAs): Image Search

Google image search contains ads. This first started appearing in the last year. These ads are officially launched on Monday. These display in a carousel format above the organic images for mobiles. Image search comes under Google Search Network. Therefore, if your shopping campaign is in the search partners, Product Listing Ads or PLAs will automatically be shown in the image search results.

Local Inventory Ads: Store pickup promotion

With the changes introduced by Google in the Local Inventory Ads, retailers can now include a ‘store pickup’ link for shoppers who wish to buy online and pick up their orders in-store. This option can be seen on the local product landing page after a user clicks on an ad.

Local Inventory Ads: Inventory Search Using Local Knowledge Panel

Local Knowledge Panel is a new feature for advertisers resorting to local inventory ads. The changes with LIA will let users to clicking a ‘Search items at this store’ link in the Local Knowledge Panel of the retailer to see whether particular items are available or in stock at their

Changes On Google Purchases

With the inclusion of ‘buy button’ feature in the product listing ads, it will allow the users who are browsing products from their phones to buy those products right away. This is hosted by Google since July 2015. Staples, Ralph Lauren, Ugg, and others are testing Purchases on Google. Here is what they have to say

95% of Staples products are now on Google Purchases. Faisal Masud, Staples

Here is what John Kalinich from Deckers Brands has to say about UGG for Google Purchases…

UGG has 50% increase in conversion rates with Purchases on Google

Trends of Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

Having rolled out to all US advertisers in 2011, Product Listing Ads by Google have been doing well for a long time. There has been an extraordinary growth, accounting for 43 percent of the total retailers’ Google search ad clicks and 70 percent for the non-brand clicks in quarter 1 of 2015.

Mobile is the boss

Talking about Product Listing Ads, 2016 is the year of mobile. There has been growth in PLA on tablets and desktops but mobile devices took over the competition. Few of the factors influencing PLA growth on mobile devices.

  1. Mobile users are searching the web for their needs and Google being the giant engine, ad traffic on Google through mobile devices is growing.
  2. With the significant increase in the size of Product Listing Ads units on phones, there has been an acceleration in PLA’s growth.

Product Listing Ads should be the priority if someone is going for e-commerce paid search optimization. Some of the things you should keep in mind while preparing strategy are:

  • Optimization of product feeds to meet Google’s requirements.
  • Keeping information regarding availability, product selection, and pricing up to date.
  • Leveraging on smart bidding platform for efficient targets.

If you fail to make PLAs your priority in paid campaigns, you will lose the opportunity to take the biggest advantage of the growing trends.


Seeing the user behavior, Google is keeping up with them by adding new features which will ensure good user experience. How will these new features help users and advertisers? What’s your take on this?

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.

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