With Q4 upon us and the holiday season rapidly approaching, the next few months are critical to the success of many eCommerce businesses. With the current age of digital and online shopping, manufacturers have shifted their marketing efforts to online channels to compete with more digitally savvy businesses. This doesn’t mean that traditional offline sales should be thrown under the rug, however.
Finishing the year strong should be of high priority, and using all the tools at your disposal can help ensure the success that has been envisioned is achieved. Fortunately, there are tools available through digital channels that can help bolster offline sales. One of these tools is affiliate location ad extensions available through Google AdWords. Let’s dive into what these ad extensions are and how they can contribute to your business’ success.
What Are Affiliate Location Ad Extensions?
Affiliate location ad extensions are how they sound, they promote third party retailers, or affiliates, that sell your products. When someone searches for your brand or keywords that you’re bidding on, the nearest stores that carry your products will be displayed under your ad copy with your other ad extensions.
On desktop, the extension can show as either an address or location on a map. On mobile devices, the user is able to click on the ad extension and immediately get directions to the store to purchase your product. These extensions can also be used without having a Google My Business account, which is especially beneficial for businesses that don’t have their own personal stores to sell through.
One minor handicap is that there are only a select number of authorized affiliates that can be displayed with your ad, however. Here’s a current list of retailers available through AdWords:
This list should only continue to grow but already features a wide variety of different stores for a number of categories. Let’s move pass any potential speed bumps and get into why affiliate location extensions should play a role in your strategy.
The Benefits Of Affiliate Location Extensions
Now here comes the fun part. How are these ad extensions going to affect the success of your business? One of the major advantages of all ad extensions is the added real estate that they provide on the search engine results page (SERP). More visibility on the SERP limits what your competitors can advertise, adds credibility to your brand, and ultimately provides more value to the consumer.
With ad extensions also helping to improve the quality of your ad and Click-Through-Rates, these clicks can often times come at a more inexpensive cost. It also can’t be forgotten that ad extensions are implemented at no additional costs.
Along with the standard advantages of ad extensions, affiliate location extensions provide much stronger benefits. Online shopping has become a major part of consumer’s lives, but brick and mortar stores will remain relevant. They’ve been in business since the beginning of consumerism and there’s also no reason why the two can’t coexist. We live in a world where people want new things and they want them now.
This impatience in consumers only works in the favor of advertisers. Affiliate location extensions can provide consumers with the opportunity to get what they want and when they want it. The ability to simply click on a conveniently placed ad and be directed to the closest location of their desired product only eases the the consumers path to a sale. Let’s put this thought into action and put ourselves in the shoes of a consumer.
Imagine you’re in the market to purchase a new watch. You really like the brand Timex and have decided that will be the next accessory to adorn. A quick search on Google shows the plethora of options to purchase your next watch. One of these options, however, is telling you that there are two retailers within a mile of you that carry Timex watches. With a quick click on the link, you’re given the address and on your way to the store. Within a matter of minutes you can be at a store trying on the watch you’ll soon be walking out with.
Along with easing the consumer journey, affiliate location extensions can aide small businesses in their quest to have their products featured in major retailers. One question businesses will always be asked when pitching their products to large reseller is: how will your products drive additional foot traffic into our stores? Affiliate location extensions can help fit into this role. With the ability to select which authorized reseller to show the extensions for, manufacturers can illustrate how their online ads can directly lead to new customers walking into a major retailers store.
Let’s use Walmart, for example. Advertisers have the ability to set affiliate location extensions to only promote Walmarts. If anyone searches for your brand, Walmart will be the only retailer shown within your ad copy. The greatest gains though can be made through non-branded searches, especially for smaller businesses. Let’s jump back to the example with watches. Pretend you’re a small start-up that’s producing stylish, luxury looking watches at an affordable price and would like to have them sold in Walmart stores. When a consumer does a broad search for watches, your brand, along with Walmart stores will appear on the SERP.
A key takeaway is that broad searches for something like watches, which can be searched thousands of times in a given day, builds brand awareness for your business and can push more traffic into a large reseller like Walmart.
Overall, affiliate location extensions provide a whole new local experience for consumers that will only help contribute to your overall sales and are a great way to leverage a digital channel to offline sales.
Q4 is a pivotal time of year for all businesses. To aide success, a more holistic look should be taken at your business rather than treating each marketing channel as its own entity. Affiliate location extensions are a great way to do so. They create a mutually beneficial relationship between digital marketing and in-store visits that contribute to sales and your overall bottom line.
Creating this localized experience for consumers is a strong tactic for improving the customer experience and and easing the path to a sale. Getting the most out of your AdWords account is crucial during the holiday season, and using affiliate location extensions are a great way to maximize your efforts and achieve your goals.