Here we are nearing the end of the full-blown COVID-19 lockdown for much of the country, but it’s possible that social distancing will become the new normal.
In that case, demand for curbside pickup will only increase and Google is on-board.
Google Ads Curbside Pickup: An Indicator
So what, exactly, is this new feature in Google Ads? It’s an indicator.
When users browse around on Google Shopping, they’ll see the word “CURBSIDE PICKUP” in black letters above eligible products.
So picture this: a person in your target market who’s concerned about contracting COVID-19 is looking for dog food in the area. That person sees your ad for dog food right next to a competitor’s.
However, your ad includes the words “CURBSIDE PICKUP” at the top. Your competitor’s ad doesn’t.
Do you think that might give you an advantage with that nervous customer? Of course, it will.
Who Can Use the New Feature?
Unfortunately, not all businesses can take advantage of the curbside pickup indicator.
For starters, your business must have competed for onboarding for in-store pickup. Also, you must run local inventory ads.
If you’re unfamiliar with local inventory ads, they’re designed to promote your products and store info to local shoppers on Google. People who click on a local inventory ad open a Google-hosted page called a local storefront.
Consumers use the local storefront to browse inventory, learn more about the store, get directions, and more.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider a Google local storefront if you’re running a mom-and-pop shop:
- Local promotion – Tell people in surrounding neighborhoods that your business has the products they’re searching for online.
- Virtual shopping – Make it easy for people to shop at your store without leaving the comfort of their own living rooms.
- Analytics – Learn about the impact of your digital ads and how they drive foot traffic to your local business.
You can get started with local inventory ads by signing in to your Merchant Center account, clicking Growth on the navigation menu, and selecting Manage Programs.
Note: Google’s local inventory ads require a product feed in addition to the Google Shopping product feed.
There are other important requirements if you want to use the curbside pickup feature.
First, you must offer same-day or next-day pickup of your products.
So if your business model involves something similar to drop-shipping, forget it. The curbside pickup feature isn’t for you.
Another thing to keep in mind: the pickup operation should involve no human-to-human contact. That is, after all, the whole point of curbside pickup during a pandemic.
One more point that Google emphasizes: your curbside pickup option must not require the customer to download an app. It’s also good business practice to make it as easy as possible for people to pick up items from your store, so hopefully, you don’t need Google to force you to do the right thing.
Don’t Meet the Google Ads Curbside Pickup Requirements? All Is Not Lost
Even if you don’t meet the requirements for Google Ads, you can still promote your curbside pickup operation online. Just use your Google Business profile to tell customers about your delivery options.
Edit the settings that appear on Maps and Search. People who see your listing when browsing online for local businesses will notice a message stating that you offer curbside pickup.
Wrapping It Up
Google is making it easier for consumers to shop online and pick up items while limiting their exposure to other people. It’s a welcome development, even if it’s a little late in the game.
If you’ve got a local business that offers products and you’d like to gain a competitive advantage, why not take a close look at running Google Ads with the curbside pickup indicator?