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Demand fluctuations, supply challenges and rapidly shifting customer needs and expectations are all a part of the new, COVID-affected reality for retail brands. It’s become clear that these changes are here to stay, if not forever then at least over an extended period of time. 

The in-store shopping experience has become fraught with health and safety concerns and, in many cases, social anxiety and confusion. The adoption of e-commerce, contactless payment, and alternative service delivery methods (BOPIS, curbside pickup, etc.) accelerated dramatically due to the lockdown and show no signs of abating. Moreover, shoppers have an insatiable need for information to help them make the best decisions and feel confident, safe, and secure in those choices.

As retail brands seek to reassure consumers and win back their in-person business, how can you make sure the validation those shoppers seek is front and center, when and where they’re searching for answers?

The attributes available to you inside Google My Business are key for highlighting social-distancing safety precautions you have available. In this post, we’ll learn which ones are available to your retail stores—but first, let’s discuss what are GMB Attributes and why do they matter?

How GMB Attributes help convert searchers to in-store shoppers

Those all-important local retail marketing questions still apply: 

  • Where can I find a certain product nearby? 
  • Is the store open? 
  • Which of the brands offering this product has the best reviews? 
  • How can I get to that particular store after work?
  • Can I shop in-store or online only?
  • Is curbside, contactless pickup available?

Now, in light of the pandemic and social issues, such as a greater awareness of racial injustice and the upcoming election, people are asking more questions. Increasingly, customers also want to know things like:

  • Who am I spending my money with?
  • Do the values of this brand align with my own?
  • Where can I shop so that I’m consciously supporting people and causes that matter most to me?
  • What is this store doing to protect my health and safety?
  • Is cash accepted at this location?
  • Will I be able to touch, see, or try on items before purchase?
  • How often are dressing rooms cleaned?

GMB Attributes are an important tool for retail brands. They enable you to prominently display important information on your local store listings, proactively answering those consumer questions in the moment as they make the decision to choose one store over another.

How and why GMB assigns different attributes by business category

Google’s mission has long been simple: to provide the best answer to each and every searcher’s query. The search giant is constantly testing new features and functionality and gathering feedback in an effort to improve the relevance of its search results. GMB Attributes are made available by primary business category as a tool by which businesses can aid potential customers in the decision-making process. See below: 

How Google Assigns Attributes

The attributes available to your multi-location retail brand depend on your primary category and in retail, these can get specific. You could be classified as a Carpet Retail Shop, a Lottery Retailer, or an Electronics Retail and Repair Shop. Even within the retail niche of clothing, does your brand identify as a Clothing Shop, Clothing Supplier, Clothing Wholesale Market Place, Youth Clothing Shop, etc.? You can choose additional categories, but will only have one primary. Choose it with care.

Which GMB attributes are available to retail brands?

In a recent article for LocalU, I shared the new attributes and amenities Google has provided businesses across 30 top business categories. Remember, there are over 3,000 business categories so if you don’t see yours there, you can reach out to your Account Director to learn which ones are available to your brand’s locations and which your brand should be leveraging.

As a retailer, you can assign any of the following GMB attributes by location:

GMB attributes for retail brands

Multi-location retailers brands (or their local search partner) can bulk upload these attributes or update them via API. Don’t see an attribute you want to highlight? We recommend you share that information in your business description.

Making the most of your GMB opportunities

Google My Business optimization is one of the most impactful weapons in your retail brand’s local marketing arsenal. Take advantage of a Free Local Presence Audit today to see if there are undiscovered opportunities that can take your brand’s local strategy to the next level.

Want to learn more? Check out the following resources:

Author Bio:

Krystal Taing is a Google My Business Gold Product Expert with extensive knowledge and expertise in local marketing and local search.