- Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora are among the retailers that have tested Google's local and shopping campaigns, which the search giant is expanding for this year's holiday shopping season, according to a Google blog post. The local campaigns are designed to drive traffic to nearby locations by geotargeting mobile users, while shopping campaigns have expanded buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) capabilities for brick-and-mortar merchants.
- Saks this year is expanding its local campaigns to promote more store locations among holiday shoppers. Last year, the luxury retailer tested local campaigns for the holidays and saw a statistically significant increase in store sales, the blog post said, along with an incremental offline return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) of 7.7 times. Beauty retailer Sephora also saw an incremental lift in store sales, generating a positive ROAS from a geotargeted test.
- Google's local ads now have a more seamless integration with Google Maps, the search giant's navigation app that offers turn-by-turn directions for drivers and pedestrians and mass transit routes for commuters. In the coming weeks, Google Maps will let marketers feature their locations with sponsored pins that appear alongside suggested travel routes for mobile users.
Google's expanded features for local campaigns and shopping campaigns come as retailers get an early start this year on holiday promotions. As Saks and Sephora showed in their tests of the new location-based tools, retailers can potentially drive more foot traffic by reaching mobile users when they're near brick-and-mortar locations and are more likely to respond to in-store promotions.
The more seamless integration with other Google apps, especially the popular Maps tool, lets marketers reach mobile users with ads that appear below pinned locations. In the blog post, Google demonstrated how the feature can help reach impulse buyers by using fast food chain Dunkin' as an example. After the app shows a driving route, a pin alongside the route pops up to show a nearby Dunkin' location and a sponsored listing appears below the map to highlight a $2 offer for the restaurant's Holiday Signature Lattes.
Google's test of expanded features for shopping campaigns aims to build on the 45% of global shoppers who have used the BOPIS feature, the company said. The search giant is adding a "pick up later" feature for products that aren't currently in stock, but can be shipped to a store within a few days. Retailers can contact the Google sales team to indicate their interest in joining the beta test of the service.
The local campaign development adds to a string of recent moves that have shown Google is stepping further into the shopping space to build out new advertising channels, relationships with retail partners and to better compete with Amazon. In October, Google introduced a redesigned version of its e-commerce platform Google Shopping that introduced features like price-tracking.