How Google Affiliate Location Extensions Are Failing Small Manufacturers
Google Affiliate Location Extensions make it possible to promote specific products available at nearby stores. But the promise for small manufacturers still falls short.
One Inventor’s (True) Story
It’s raining. You are pushing your stroller with one hand, holding an umbrella with the other, and a call comes in. You’re in the middle of a busy intersection so you let the call go unanswered. But you’re distracted, so when you reach the other side of the street you trip on the curb and the stroller slams into your midsection. It hurts, but inspiration strikes and a new product is born: the first hands-free umbrella for the stroller chauffeur. You call it Blue Bumbershoot.
You’ve put months of toil into building your new product. Prototypes become products. Your marketing plan is working and the first batch sold overnight. You have dozens of boutique distributors around the country lined up for when the second shipment arrives. But no national chains, yet.
How can you advertise your product at the stores that actually sell it?
It’s easy to advertise for online sales, but what about offline?
Dangling Opportunity: Affiliate Location Extensions
Google Affiliate Location Extensions have huge potential to drive offline sales. They make it possible for a manufacturer to advertise directly to active shoppers near a retail location that carries their product.
The Upside of Google Affiliate Location Extensions
To be fair, there are some serious benefits to small manufacturers that use Affiliate Location Extensions. For those with national chain presence, they’re a great way to drive offline sales — and they are a point of leverage when negotiating distribution deals. Some other benefits to consider:
Your ad will come up prominently in search results and feature a map link to the local store.
There is some evidence that shows Affiliate Location ads outperform traditional Site Link ads.
You don’t need to have a Google My Business account to use them. This is good for manufacturers without stores of their own.
You can spend ad budget only in locations where stores are nearby.
Affiliate Location Extensions just got started in late 2016 and have been GROWING internationally at a rapid pace. Their reach is bound to expand.
But if your product isn’t available at a national chain like Target or Costco, you are out of luck. As of late 2017, Google only offers location extensions for 81 US national chains, the largest portion of which are grocery stores (see below for the latest list of chains, aslo including 46 in the UK, 52 in Australia, 38 in Germany, and 36 in Canada).
Even if you are lucky enough to have a distribution deal in place with a national retailer, you have no way to link your inventory data at each location with the ads that show up. So the ad you pay for may drive a customer to a location that doesn’t actually have your product on the shelf. Plus, Google won’t share any store visit information unless traffic volume is high, leaving niche manufacturers in the dark.
So that leaves small manufacturers without national chain distribution only one choice: creating their own ads for every location where their product is sold. But doing this outside of Google’s Affiliate Locations means you need to create a microsite for every store, because Google won’t allow your ad to point directly to a map of the location.
Our solution: Serendipity
At Deducive, we specialize in bringing scalable, data-driven marketing strategies to companies of all sizes — not just big manufacturers. Many mid-sized manufacturers, such as those in the beverage and luxury product markets, rely heavily on in-store sales.
So we’re building out a new programmatic advertising platform that makes it possible to promote specific products at specific locations. We call it Serendipity.
Serendipity helps marketers navigate the APIs of channels like Google, Facebook, and Instagram to create highly targeted digital campaigns tied to bricks-and-mortar store locations. Our team of seasoned creative strategists and data scientists will help you develop new, channel specific campaigns with provable results.
If you’d like to put Serendipity to work for you, contact us to learn more.
Appendix: Retail Chains Available as Google Affiliate Location Extensions
|United States||United Kingdom||Australia||Germany||Canada|
|7-Eleven||Aldi||7 Eleven||Aldi||2001 Audio Video|
|Advance Auto Parts||Apple||Aldi||Bauhaus||Bed, Bath & Beyond|
|Bashas'||Carphone Warehouse||Autopro||Douglas||EB Games|
|Bed, Bath, Beyond||Claires||Betta||Edeka||Home Depot|
|Belk||Co-operative||Big W||EP||Home Outfitters|
|Best Buy||Costco||Bing Lee||Ernsting's Family||Hudson's Bay|
|Big 5 Sporting Goods||Currys||Bunnings||Galeria Kaufhof||LCBO|
|BJ's||Debenhams||Burson Auto Parts||Globus||Leon's Furniture|
|Bloomingdale's||EE||Chemist Warehouse||H&M||London Drugs|
|Boost Mobile||Gordons Chemist||Coles||Hagebau||Longo's|
|Casey's General Store||House Of Fraser||Coles Express||Hornbach||Lowe's|
|Cub Foods||John Lewis||Discount Drug Stores||Lidl||Napa Auto Parts|
|Dick's Sporting Goods||M&Co||General Pants||Media Markt||No Frills|
|Dollar General||M&S||Harris Scarfe||MediMax||Rexall|
|Dollar Tree||Makro||Harvey Norman||Metro||Rona|
|Duane Reade||Manor Pharmacy||Home Timber and Hardware||Müller||SAQ|
|Farm Fresh||Maplin||IGA||Netto||Shoppers Drug Mart|
|Footlocker||Maxwells Diy Peterlee||JB Hi-Fi||o2||Staples|
|Fred Meyer||Morrisons||Just Jeans||Obi||Tanguay|
|Giant Eagle||Newlook||Mecca||Penny||The Beer Store|
|Golfsmith||O2||Mitre 10||real||The Brick|
|Grocery Outlet||One Stop||Mountain Designs||Rossmann||The Source|
|Home Depot||Robert dyas||Officeworks||Tally Weijl||Walmart|
|Lord & Taylor||UK Chains||Sportsmans Warehouse|
|MetroPCS||The Good Guys|
|Napa Auto Parts||True Value Hardware|
|Neiman Marcus||Virgin Mobile|
|O'Reilly Auto Parts|
|Saks Fifth Ave|
|SHOP 'N SAVE|
|The Medicine Shoppe|