How to Generate Google Local Inventory Feed on WooCommerce
Do you only have a brick-and-mortar store and still want to compete with the exploding eCommerce world?
Or do you have a WooCommerce site to display your inventory but sell products in-store and now want to advertise those products on Google?
Whether you don’t have an online store or have a WooCommerce site to display your stock but still want to promote it to your local audience, Google has you covered. Google offers local inventory ads and free local inventory product listings to list and promote your in-store products.
But do you really want to run online ads for a brick-and-mortar store?
- Since nearly 70% of consumers now use Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) services, stock availability in a given area is crucial to the shopping decision.
- The majority of global sales (90%) are made at traditional storefronts.
- A whopping 84% of shoppers look for products in their immediate vicinity.
- 74 percent of smartphone users who conduct a local product search report visiting the store the following day, with 28 percent making a purchase.
Therefore, Google local inventory ads can significantly impact your offline store’s sales and grow your reputation as well.
Let us give you a quick overview, and then we will explain in detail. To get started, you will primarily need four things –
- Google Merchant Center account
- Google local Inventory product feed
- Google Ads account
- Google Business Profile (formerly My Business Locations) account
💡 In this article, we will walk you through all the steps to creating a Google local inventory listings/ads and how you can generate Google local inventory feed using a plugin called CTX Feed.
What are Google’s free local inventory product listings?
Google free local inventory product listings are a service provided by Google that allows businesses to list their physical store inventory for free on Google without the need to pay for advertising. This service is available to businesses that have a Google Business Profile (formerly My Business account).
This is a platform that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps.
To take advantage of Google’s free local product listings, businesses must provide detailed information about their physical store’s inventory, such as product IDs, titles, descriptions, prices, and availability. This information is then displayed to customers who are searching for products in their local area on Google Maps and other Google services.
When customers search for a product or category on Google, free local inventory product listings are displayed along with paid Local Inventory Ads. These free listings include information such as product name, image, price, availability, and store location.
Customers can then click on the listing to view more information about the product and visit the physical store to make a purchase.
By offering free local inventory product listings, Google is helping businesses reach customers who are searching for products in their local area and increase foot traffic to their physical stores. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses and local retailers who may not have the resources to invest in paid advertising.
It’s worth noting that the availability of free local inventory product listings may vary by country and region, and businesses may need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for this service.
What are Google Local Inventory ads?
Google Local Inventory Ads (LIA) is an advertising format allowing local brick-and-mortar stores to display their in-store inventory to nearby shoppers searching for products online. These ads show up in Google search results, Google Maps, and the Google Shopping tab.
Local Inventory Ads show detailed information about the availability of the product at nearby stores, including the store’s location, the distance to the store, and product availability. These ads help local businesses drive foot traffic to their physical stores by showcasing their products to nearby shoppers who are actively searching for them online.
The Local Inventory Ads work by integrating the retailer’s inventory data with Google’s advertising platform, which allows the ads to show up when customers search for specific products that the retailer has in stock. These ads can be customized with different calls-to-action and promotional offers, which can help drive traffic and increase sales for the retailer.
How to create Google Local Inventory free listings/Ads
As we have already mentioned, you will need to set up the following accounts.
- A Google Merchant Center account
- A Google local inventory product feed
- A Google Ads account
- A Google Business Profile
Let’s start with a Google Merchant Center account.
Setting up a Google Merchant Center account
Google Merchant Center is a tool that enables businesses to upload their product data to Google and make it available to potential customers through Google Shopping and other Google services.
Once you have a Google Merchant Center account, you can use it to create and manage product listings, set up shopping campaigns, and track performance metrics.
It is free to open a Google Marcent Center (GMC) account. Go to the official site and sign up with your email or Gmail.
First, it will ask you to enter your business details.
In the next screen, you can specify that your customers will checkout at your local store.
If you have a WooCommerce store, you can select it.
Now, you need to complete the following steps.
Enter your local business address and contact details.
If you have a website, then you need to verify it. Enter your website URL.
After that, you can verify your site with Google Merchant Center in one of two ways.
- Add HTML tag
- Upload an HTML file
You can add an HTML tag that the page provides by copying and pasting it between the
<head> tags of your own home page. You could also use an HTML file that you need to upload to your WooCommerce hosting server.
After that, you need to fill in your shipping and tax details. Next, you need to create a Google merchant center local inventory feed.
What is Google Local Inventory Feed?
Google Local Inventory Feed (LIF) is a feature offered by Google to help retailers promote their in-store products to nearby customers who are searching for related items on Google. With Local Inventory Feed, retailers can create a product feed that provides information about the availability and pricing of their products in their physical stores.
By uploading their product inventory to Google, retailers can display real-time inventory information to customers who are searching for nearby products on Google. This helps retailers increase foot traffic to their stores, and it also makes it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for in nearby stores.
To participate in Local Inventory Feed, retailers must meet certain eligibility criteria and provide Google with accurate and up-to-date information about their inventory. Google provides detailed instructions for creating and submitting a local inventory feed, as well as tools for tracking and optimizing the performance of their local inventory ads.
What is a local product feed file?
A Local Product Feed File is a file that contains information about the availability and pricing of products in a physical store. Retailers use it to participate in Google’s Local Inventory Ads program. This allows them to show real-time inventory information to customers who are searching for related products on Google.
The Local Product Feed File includes information such as product name, description, price, availability, and store location. This information is used to create Local Inventory Ads, which are displayed to customers who are searching for related products on Google.
The Local Product Feed File can be created using a spreadsheet or XML file format, and it must meet certain formatting requirements and guidelines set by Google. Once the file is created, it can be submitted to Google through the Google Merchant Center. There, it will be reviewed to ensure that it meets the eligibility requirements and guidelines.
By using local product feed files and participating in the Local Inventory Ads program, retailers can increase foot traffic to their physical stores and make it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for in nearby stores.
How does the Google Local Inventory feed work?
Google Local Inventory Feed (LIF) works by allowing retailers to upload their product inventory to Google, which can then be used to show real-time inventory information to customers who are searching for nearby products on Google.
Here is an overview of how the Google Local Product Inventory Feed works:
First, retailers must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in Google Local Inventory Feed. They must have a physical storefront with regular business hours and sell physical products that are available for purchase in their stores.
Product feed creation
Retailers must create a local product feed that provides information about the availability and pricing of their products in their physical stores. The product feed must include information such as product name, description, price, availability, and store location.
Once the product feed has been created, it must be submitted to Google through the Google Merchant Center. Google will review the feed to ensure that it meets its guidelines and eligibility criteria.
Local inventory ads
Once the feed has been approved, retailers can create local inventory ads that will be shown to customers who are searching for related products on Google. These ads will include information about the availability and pricing of the products in the retailer’s physical stores.
When a customer clicks on a local inventory ad, they will be taken to a landing page that shows more detailed information about the product, including availability at nearby stores. If the product is available at a nearby store, the customer can click on a link to get directions to the store and purchase the product in person.
By using Google local inventory feed, you can increase in-store traffic to their stores, and it makes it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for in nearby stores.
Google local inventory feed requirements
Every channel has its own guidelines and attribute requirements for product feed files. Here’s what Google asks you to put in your local inventory feeds Google.
Required inventory details
- Store code
- Sale price
- Sale price effective date
- Pickup method
- Pickup SLA
How to Generate Google Local Inventory Feed on WooCommerce (Step By Step)
Learning all the guidelines and attributes and then putting them together on a CSV spreadsheet using software like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel is one method you can use for creating a Google local inventory feed.
However, maintaining that file would be a hassle. Especially when you need to update the file, you will have to manually update the data and upload it again to the Merchant Center.
If you have a WooCommerce store, you can automate the whole process with a plugin called CTX Feed- WooCommerce Product Feed Manager.
Let’s first learn about the plugin.
CTX Feed – Google local inventory feed-generating plugin
CTX Feed is a WooCommerce product feed manager plugin that allows users to create the most optimized and error-free product feed for various marketing channels. It supports over 100 recognized channels, including Google Shopping Product Feed, Local Inventory Feed, Facebook Catalog Feed, Pinterest Shopping Feed, Instagram Catalog Feed, TikTok Catalog, Snapchat Catalog, eBay Ads, Bing Ads, PriceRunner, Rakuten, PriceSpy, Kelko, and more.
With CTX Feed, users can easily create product feeds and distribute them in multiple marketing/shopping channels. It provides flexible options to update product information according to the user’s given schedule and sync the update to the right channel via HTTP or FTP/SFTP.
The plugin allows users to create unlimited product feeds and upload unlimited products of any size inventory. It also offers over 100 pre-configured templates to make product feed creation easier and faster.
CTX Feed supports five different feed file formats, including XML, CSV, TSV, XLS, TXT, and JSON, ensuring that users create a product feed that appears differently yet uniquely to various marketing channels that they are destined to be promoting the products.
The plugin has a user-friendly interface that allows users to find, amend, or modify any attributes or mandatory fields without requiring any prior technical knowledge, making the uploading process less mistakable.
CTX Feed provides tailored solutions that can solve simple problems like formatting the price listing from two decimals to any decimals while giving the option to apply an integer.
How to create a Google local inventory feed using CTX Feed
Let’s begin by installing the plugin.
After you install and activate it, the plugin will create a menu section. Click on Make Feed.
Here’s what a new window looks like.
From the Templates, you can choose from 100+ pre-made templates. For this article, we need to choose one of the following two. The Google Local Product Inventory is for free listings, and Inventory Ads is for the paid ones.
Let’s start with the free one. Select Google Local Product Inventory, name your file, and select the file type. As soon as you select the template, CTX Feed will automatically populate all the necessary attributes the platform requires.
All you need to do now is click the Update and Generate Feed button. CTX Feed will automatically collect all your WooCommerce product data and create a Google local inventory feed.
Similarly, if you select the Google Local Inventory Ad, the plugin will populate the necessary attributes for the ads.
Google local inventory feed settings
Now, after you generate the files, you can find them under the Manage Feeds menu page.
One of the best features of this plugin is the automatic updates. You can set intervals after which all your files will be automatically updated.
For example, in the image below, the interval is 1 hour.
This means all your feed files will be automatically updated after every hour. Any changes you make in your Woo product pages within this time, CTX Feed will automatically collect them and update the feed files.
Along with that, you will find other settings such as delete, download, edit, copy URL, or regenerate feeds. If you connect your files through the URL/FTP/HTTP method, the channel will automatically fetch your product data and also update them following your set intervals.
In the case of Google local inventory feed, you can upload via the Scheduled fetch method and your product data will be updated automatically.
Setting up Google Free Local Product Listing
After you create your Google local inventory feed, go back to Google Merchant Center. Click on Growth>>Manage programs and click on Google Free Local Product Listing.
First, you will have to select your country. This service is available only to selected countries.
After that, it will ask you to input your business information and link your business profile.
To link your business profile and add a business group, go to Tools>>Linked Account. After that, jump to the Business Profile tab and click the link beside your business profile status.
Once linked, it will also create a business group.
After you successfully link your business profile, you will see the following progress in your free local listing setup window.
Scroll down and open the country toggle, and there you will find options to upload your Google local inventory feed.
You will also be able to activate the Store pickup option if you want. With this option, you can accept payments online, and your customers can then pick up the products from your local store.
As you can see, you will need to upload two feeds. One is a primary feed, and another is your Google local inventory feed. You can create a Google Shopping feed using CTX Feed and upload it as a primary feed. Check out our guide to creating a Google Shopping product feed to list and promote your products on the shopping comparison platform.
Uploading Google local inventory feed
After you upload your primary feed, it’s time to upload your Google Local inventory feed. Go to Products>>Feeds and click on Add product inventory feed.
Input your basic information.
Name your feed. Then select the upload method. As we have mentioned before, we will select Scheduled fetch.
In the next window, input your product feed file name you created in CTX Feed and copy and paste the feed URL. You can also set update intervals. Finally, click on the Create product inventory feed button.
You can click on Fetch Now for Google to immediately upload your products.
Wait, we mentioned another account – Google My Business Profile or currently known as Google Business Profile.
You still need to create this account because only through this account can you get a store code. Store code is a compulsory attribute in Google’s local inventory feed. Without it, you cannot display your products in either free listing or local inventory ads.
After you sign up with Google Business Profile, you can find the store code under Manage locations > Store code. After you get the code, you can insert the value in CTX Feed attribute as a static value.
To run Google local inventory ads, you will need to connect your Google Ads account along with all the above steps. Then you can create local inventory ads from your ads account.
Here are the steps to enable local product ads in your shopping campaign –
- To start a Shopping campaign for Google local inventory feed, either select an existing one from the drop-down menu or click “Create a New Shopping Campaign.”
- Go to Settings > Shopping Campaign Settings > Additional Settings > Local Products within the campaign.
- Select the box labeled “Enable ads for products sold in local stores” and hit “Save.”
Why retailers should use Google local inventory feed marketing
Google Local Inventory Feed (LIF) Marketing is a powerful tool for retailers to promote their products to local customers who are searching for items in their area. Here are some reasons why retailers should consider using Google LIF Marketing:
Increase foot traffic
One of the main benefits of using Google Local Inventory Feed (LIF) Marketing is that it can help retailers drive foot traffic to their physical stores. By promoting their in-stock products to nearby customers who are actively searching for them online, retailers can entice these customers to visit their stores to make a purchase.
This is especially valuable for retailers with physical stores, as it allows them to leverage the power of digital marketing to increase their visibility and attract more customers.
When customers search for a particular product on Google, they may see an ad with the retailer’s in-stock products and the distance to the nearest store where the item is available. This information can be highly influential in their purchasing decision, as they are more likely to choose a store that has the product in stock and is conveniently located.
By using Google LIF Marketing, retailers can capture the attention of customers who are already in the market for their products and direct them to their stores, resulting in more foot traffic and increased sales.
Furthermore, by attracting more customers to their stores, retailers like you can also increase your brand exposure and awareness. As customers browse their products in-store, they may discover other items they hadn’t considered before or become more familiar with the retailer’s brand.
This can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, which can further boost the retailer’s reputation and sales. Overall, the ability to increase foot traffic through Google LIF Marketing can be a valuable asset for retailers looking to drive growth and success.
Improve customer experience
Google Local Inventory Feed (LIF) Marketing can help retailers improve the customer experience by providing accurate and up-to-date information about the products that are available in-store. By showing customers which products are in stock, retailers can avoid the frustration and disappointment that can occur when customers visit a store only to find that the product they want is out of stock.
With Google LIF Marketing, retailers can provide real-time inventory updates to customers who are searching for products online. This means that customers can be confident that the item they want is available before they visit the store, reducing the likelihood of wasted trips and improving overall satisfaction.
In addition, by using Google LIF Marketing, retailers can provide customers with more information about their products, including pricing, product descriptions, and images. This can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions. And this can also save time and effort for store employees who would otherwise need to answer customer questions about product availability and features.
Furthermore, Google LIF marketing can help retailers provide a more seamless omnichannel experience for customers. By integrating online and offline channels, retailers can offer customers more options for researching, purchasing, and receiving products.
For example, customers can search for products online, see which items are available in-store, and then choose to reserve or buy the product online and pick it up in-store. This can help retailers streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
Google Local Inventory Feed can help retailers reach a wider audience of potential customers who are searching for products in their local area. By promoting their in-stock products to nearby customers who are actively searching for them online, retailers can attract new customers and increase their market share.
With Google LIF Marketing, retailers can tap into the power of local search to connect with customers who are looking for products in their area. This can be especially valuable for retailers with physical stores, as it allows them to target customers who are most likely to visit their store and make a purchase.
In addition, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers reach customers who may not have been aware of their brand or products before. By appearing in search results for specific products, retailers can introduce their brand to new audiences and generate interest in their products. This can be especially valuable for smaller or newer retailers who may not have the same brand recognition as larger, more established competitors.
Furthermore, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers stay competitive by making it easier for customers to find their products online. With more customers turning to the internet to research and purchase products, retailers who are not visible in online search results may miss out on potential sales. By using Google LIF Marketing, retailers can increase their online visibility and attract more customers who are actively searching for their products.
Gain Competitive Advantage
Google local inventory feed marketing can help retailers gain a competitive advantage by providing a more compelling and convenient shopping experience for customers. By offering real-time inventory updates, omnichannel options, and accurate product information, retailers can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more customers.
With Google LIF Marketing, retailers can offer a more seamless and integrated shopping experience for customers by providing them with accurate and up-to-date information about products in their local area. This can help retailers stand out from competitors who may not have the same level of visibility or transparency about their inventory.
In addition, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers stay competitive by reaching customers where they are already searching for products – online. With more customers turning to the internet to research and purchase products, retailers who are not visible in online search results may struggle to keep up with competitors. By using Google LIF Marketing, retailers can increase their online visibility and attract more customers who are actively searching for their products.
Furthermore, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers compete on price by providing customers with more information about their products and pricing. By offering competitive pricing and clear product information, retailers can attract price-sensitive customers who may be comparing prices across multiple retailers.
Moreover, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers stay ahead of the curve by adopting new technologies and strategies that can help them improve their operations and customer experience. For example, by using Google LIF Marketing to track metrics and analyze data, retailers can identify areas for improvement and make strategic decisions about their marketing and inventory strategy.
Overall, Google LIF Marketing can be a valuable tool for retailers looking to gain a competitive advantage and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Google Local Inventory Feed Marketing can be a cost-effective way for retailers to promote their products and attract new customers. By targeting customers who are actively searching for their products online, retailers can reduce advertising waste and optimize their advertising spend.
With Google LIF Marketing, retailers can create highly targeted campaigns that focus on specific products and locations. This can help retailers avoid advertising to customers who are not interested in their products or who are located outside of their target area, thereby reducing advertising waste and increasing the efficiency of their campaigns.
In addition, Google LIF Marketing can be a cost-effective way for retailers to reach new customers and increase their market share. By appearing in search results for specific products, retailers can introduce their brand to new audiences and generate interest in their products. This can be especially valuable for smaller or newer retailers who may not have the same brand recognition as larger, more established competitors.
Furthermore, Google LIF Marketing can help retailers optimize their advertising spend by providing real-time data and insights into the performance of their campaigns. By tracking metrics such as clicks, conversions, and ROI, retailers can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about their marketing strategy.
Moreover, Google LIF Marketing can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels such as TV or print ads, which can be expensive and may not offer the same level of targeting or measurement capabilities. By focusing on targeted online advertising, retailers can get more value for their advertising spend and achieve better results.
Increase online visibility
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for businesses that want to succeed. Local Inventory Ads can help increase your online visibility by making it easier for customers to find your products when they are searching for them online.
When a customer searches for a specific product on Google, Local Inventory Ads are displayed at the top of the search results, above the organic search results. This means that your products will be highly visible to customers who are actively searching for them online.
Additionally, Local Inventory Ads are displayed on Google Maps and the Google Shopping tab, which can further increase your online visibility.
By increasing your online visibility, Local Inventory Ads can help you reach a wider audience and attract new customers. This is especially important for businesses that are looking to expand their customer base and increase sales.
In addition to increasing online visibility, Local Inventory Ads can help you build your brand. By displaying your products prominently in search results and on Google Maps, you can increase brand recognition and awareness. This can help you establish your business as a trusted and reliable source for the products you sell.
Currently, Google Local Inventory Ads are only available to merchants in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Generating a Google Local Inventory Feed on WooCommerce can be a valuable tool for retailers looking to promote their products and attract new customers.
By providing real-time inventory updates, accurate product information, and omnichannel options, retailers can offer a more compelling and convenient shopping experience for customers while gaining a competitive advantage.
Additionally, retailers can optimize their advertising spend by using these features, making it a win-win situation for both the retailer and the customer.
To generate a Google LIF on WooCommerce, retailers should start by ensuring that their product data is accurate and up-to-date. CTX Feed can do exactly that and with absolute ease.
hope this article was of help to you. Let us know if you have any questions on the topic.