Google Analytics tool links ads to store visits

2 Minutes
Sara Armitage

In December 2014 Google announced its ‘Store-Visits’ product which it launched within Adwords, its search advertising platform. This was rolled out across the UK in summer last year.

The idea is to tie clicks on search ads back to in-store traffic and sales. As consumers use smartphones more and more to influence their in-store purchasing decisions, Google and other online companies have been under pressure to prove to advertisers that their online ads do impact in-store behaviour.

So the tool verifies whether or not a person who clicked on an ad went on to visit that store using data from Google Maps. It tracks conversion. In order to do this Google must ensure the Google Maps location of each retailer is highly accurate so as to ascertain that a user actually enters the store.

Users too, have to have their Location History activated on their Apple or Android smartphone so Google can determine where the user is in relation to the store. It can only estimate store visits not purchases and these estimates are based on store visits within the last 30 days of an ad click.

Google says it has now mapped tens of thousands of stores in the UK and last week, at Advertising Week Europe in London, Eileen Naughton, Google UK and Ireland managing director said it was encouraged by how many retailers were already using the product.

Naughton said: “We work hard to build tools that marketers use that actually drive respectful interactions with consumers because we’ve seen research show again and again that customers will allow you in if you bring them information — it could be an ad that’s relevant — that’s useful, helpful, and informative. And if they calibrate their marketing communications well using [some of Google’s] tools, they actually can bring more and more value to the consumer without being seen as intrusive.”

However store visit conversions are only available to certain advertisers. In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions you need to:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.

So what are the benefits of this Google Analytics in-store purchases tool? The “Store-Visits” product helps retailers see which campaigns and devices drive the most store visits. Also advertisers can better understand return on investment in order to make informed decisions going forward on ad content, spend, bid strategies and other elements of their campaigns. Read more about how PetSmart used Google Store-Visits to get a better understanding of its paid search investment.

To see if you are eligible talk to your Google account representative or get in touch and we can look into this for you.