Google searches for the term “in-stock” surged over 70 percent worldwide March 28 to April 4 as people looked for available merchandise they could pick up from local retailers.
“We’re here to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need quickly, and promote your safer fulfillment options, like in-store and curbside pickup,” Darshan Kantak, vice president, product management for Google said in a statement on Monday (May 11).
Retailers can use local inventory ads to showcase in-stock merchandise and inform consumers how they can pick it up as shipping delays continue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Local inventory ads have launched with this new feature in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.
By way of example, Petco is making use of Google’s curbside pickup badge to inform customers of what essential pet supplies are available for contactless pickup either same-day or next-day.
“As a trusted partner in caring for the overall health and wellness of pets, we’re committed to ensuring pet parents have the essential products they need during this time,” said Jay Altschuler, vice president of media transformation at Petco.
He added that they want to ensure the easiest and safest way to shop for pet parents and Petco’s employees. The company is offering curbside pickup in all of its stores across the country.
The curbside pickup badge for local inventory ads is currently in beta but Google advertisers can participate if they qualify.
Merchants that aren’t running local inventory ads can advise about pickup or delivery options by adding the information to Google My Business.
In January, Google acquired the Ireland-based tech company Pointy, which focused its efforts on connecting customers to local merchants that had sought-after in-stock merchandise. The acquisition aligned with an increasing focus on omnichannel retail.