Montreal-based PF Lightspeed announced this week that it has partnered with Google to help independent retailers benefit from consumer interest in shopping locally.
Lightspeed provides cloud-based omnichannel commerce platforms for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Google integration with the Lightspeed platform enables businesses to manage their online presence and display inventory levels to local shoppers and includes three new Google tools at no additional cost, the company said.
Through the new integration, local inventory ads let shoppers know what retailers have in stock. Smart shopping campaigns allow businesses to promote products across Google’s properties. And finally, Google My Business listings can now be managed from within the Lightspeed platform, enabling businesses to share information such as store hours or COVID-19 safety protocols with searching customers.
Lightspeed said that the integration is aligned with its mission to “level the playing field for independent merchants.”
“We know that so much of business today starts with a Google search,” Lightspeed CEO Dax Dasilva said in the announcement.
“By combining forces, Lightspeed and Google are eliminating the pain points that prevent SMBs from effectively promoting their products online to the communities who prefer to shop local, providing them a springboard to simplify and scale their businesses as they prepare for the welcomed return of in-store shopping.”
According to the announcement, Google data shows that online searches for local shopping opportunities have been growing. For example, searches for “who has” [a certain product] “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over year, and searches for the terms “local” and “businesses(es)” have grown more than 80%, the company said.
“Small and medium-sized businesses have been hit the hardest during the pandemic, but globally we’ve seen a rallying cry to support them,” Sabrina Geremia, VP & Country Director, Google Canada, said.
“Customers are shopping both online and in-store and expect a seamless shopping experience between both. As we look towards recovery, this integration with Lightspeed will provide a scalable solution for Lightspeed merchants of all sizes looking to reach customers in this new omnichannel reality.”