Google announced on Monday that it has begun rolling out a couple new features for Google Shopping with an emphasis on local merchants. These would be local storefronts and local availability for product listing ads (on desktop and smartphones).
When a user searches for a product on Google, they may now see a PLA from a local store, and land on a local storefront page when they click click it. From there, the user will be able to browse the local store's inventory.
"Both local availability for Product Listing Ads and the local storefront are based on a local product feed managed through Google Merchant Center, which allows retailers to provide users with up-to-date, item-level price and availability information for each physical store," says Google Shopping senior product manager Paul Bankhead. "Participating retailers pay for clicks on the Product Listing Ad to the local storefront on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. All clicks and interactions on the local storefront are free. Retailers can also see separate local click performance."
"These local features help retailers leverage the scale of Google Shopping to market items sold in their physical stores," he adds. "They’re currently available to a limited set of US retailers, and we look forward to making them more widely available in the coming months."
Local merchants who wish to participate in the new features are encouraged to fill out a form here.
This is at least one piece of good news for local merchants hoping to get more customers from search as Google's local listings have been heavily criticized lately.