Google Rolls Out Curbside Pickup Badge in Local Inventory Ads

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It seems every business is doing curbside pickup these days. Liquor stores, supermarkets and even fine dining restaurants have quickly adopted the fast-food model to serve customers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This week, Google announced the rollout of its own curbside pickup functionality on its shopping platform to support businesses trying to serve customers this way. The feature, which is in beta, offers a curbside pickup “badge” for retailers on their live local inventory ads.

To get the certification, Google said retailers must offer contactless or curbside options for those who shop online and pick up their purchases in person. However, retailers cannot get the badge if they require shoppers to use an app.

According to a blog post, Google said that “searches for ‘in-stock’ grew more than 70% globally from the week of March 28 to April 4” due to user frustration with ecommerce delays. This new badge is available in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United States.

Petco is already using the functionality, according to the blog post. Pet ownership has boomed during the pandemic, and pet brands have adjusted how they do business.

Google, too, saw changes in consumer behavior after introducing new ad options for local retailers in November, ahead of the holiday season. At the time, the company said it saw 350 times more searches in “local” and “near me” than it did 10 years prior.

As the country slowly begins to open back up, Americans’ shopping experiences have changed greatly from state to state, and even town to town, and could push retail trends even more local.

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