According to Google, 90% of sales still happen in stores, not online. However, the web still plays a huge role in this consumer journey. In fact, 90% of in-store shoppers use their mobile device to conduct pre-purchase research prior to visiting a physical store.
Google understood the importance of this process, which led them to create Store Visit Conversion tracking within their Google Adwords (soon to be Google Ads) platform in 2014. This tool was a huge step in bridging the gap between online and offline consumer activity by giving online marketers the ability to track the correlation between their ad clicks and their in-store traffic. A new update now makes this per-store tracking available to small businesses, allowing them to determine how effective their online ads are at driving consumers to their brick-and-mortar stores.
What is Google AdWords Store Visit Conversions?
Google AdWords Store Visit Conversions allows advertisers to collect data from their users that click on an ad and then visit the store. Google is able to collect this data by tracking users’ ad clicks on all devices (smartphone, desktop and tablet), as well as their phone location history, when their Location History is activated on their mobile phone. All of this information is aggregated and kept anonymous to ensure that data cannot be traced back to any specific person.
Previously, the service was only available for large companies with multiple store locations that receive thousands of ad clicks and viewable impressions. However, Google will be expanding the service for both large enterprises and small and midsize businesses (SMB) by the end of July 2018. Now, brands of any size will be able to see performance breakouts by their individual store locations.
Along with the expanding rollout, there are a number of new conversion metrics available for each business location that are tied to local search. These include:
- Calls — clicks on call buttons.
- Directions — clicks on “get directions” buttons.
- Website visits — clicks on website links associated with location-based ads.
- Orders — clicks on “order” buttons.
- Menu actions — clicks on menu links.
- Other actions — clicks on other tracked user actions (such as: share location, save, etc.) on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction.
How Can This Benefit Your Business?
Store Visit Conversion reporting can enhance a business’s digital strategy. You’ll need to use location extensions and link your Adwords and your Google My Business account in order to see your performance breakdown by individual store locations.
Offline visitation and conversion reporting tracking allows companies to see how their online ad dollars directly impact their return on investment (ROI) in their physical stores, as well as provides marketers with better insights on how consumers connect digital activities to in-person purchasing experiences.