Last week, Google announced a trial of their new location-based adverts, which display ads showing relevant products in their local stores, alongside Google search results. One of the first retail partners to try the scheme is Argos who have been testing the new online advertising method in partnership with the technology giant since January. The new ads are called ‘local inventory ads’ and show potential shoppers what is available in their local area, for immediate purchase, using real time computing and location-based technology.
The ads work with a data feed that is updated every two seconds – pulling stock inventory information from across 850 UK Argos stores – before returning search results showing the availability of specific items at the users’ nearest Argos store.
Speaking to Retail Week, Argos digital marketing controller Matt Roberts explained why Argos were keen to be one of the first to trial the new technology:
“Connecting digital customers to stores allows them to get hold of those products immediately and also works in harmony with our new fast track collection offer, where those who have pre-paid online can get their purchase in their hands in as little as 60 seconds.
“Core to the Argos model is our real-time view of stock and using that as part of our mission to be at the forefront of digital is key to our success.”
As discussed many times before on the blog, by thinking ahead and utilising a business model that embraces multichannel retail, businesses will continue to thrive in our turbulent economic climate. Google’s advertising tool is good for the High Street as it’s use of localised information and product availability drives online shoppers into local stores.
We’ll be interested to see how Argo measures their ROI on this latest venture and whether other retailers will be picking up on the new technology and using it too. For stores like John Lewis – where shoppers may go in for one thing, spend hours browsing and come out with six others – it could prove extremely valuable as the specialist localised product knowledge encourages footfall and local shopping and browsing – where the goods might otherwise have simply been bought online.