Store Visit allows you to calculate offline impact of online advertising

We are living in a digital era and use different devices to stay connected with the Internet community. Whether we are doing shopping, going for a lunch, booking hotels or seeking entertainment; we are used to use various devices for constant connectivity. That opens up a lot of opportunities for the online marketers to grab online business. Google ads can be a very effective strategy to attract the online users.

Google Adwords allows you to measure direct conversion from your Adwords account. But according to a research; approximately 93% of the retail sales take place in retail stores during the holiday season. Nobody can refuse that advertiser’s online activities significantly affect the offline transactions. That’s why Google has introduced “Estimated Total Conversion” of the search ads on Google last year. ETC gives you the better insights about the phone calls, in-store visits; cross device conversions or app downloads that came from the search ads. Google has now taken one step further to provide the store visits data in adwords Estimated Total Conversion. Google has revealed the information about the store visit data in AdWords in an official blog on Thursday.

How can I estimate the store visits?

Now Google provides the information about the offline store visits in Adwords through store visit analysis. This metric is out for the eligible AdWords advertisers in the US only. Google calculates the offline store visits through the location, history from the iPhone and Android devices having location history turned on. According to Google visits are estimated through aggregated and anonymized data from a sample set of users. It drives the clicks through all devices and campaign types. Google provides the in-store visits analysis at the campaign level, you can also get reports according to the region or the store location. One important thing to consider for every advertiser is that the report only shows the store visits data, not the purchase data. Google is currently working on providing store purchase data as well, but it will be available in future.

Can any advertiser get store visit data?

As mentioned by the Google in blog post, this feature is available in US only. That is also for the advertisers who are eligible for this metric. Following are the eligibility criteria according to Google.

  • You must have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account
  • Location extension needs to be set up in your Google My Business account
  • You must have multiple physical store locations in the US
  • You must be receiving large number of ad clicks and also store visits

If you are eligible according to these criteria; conversions from store visits will be automatically added to the “Estimated Total Conversion” columns in campaign reports. You will also see an additional conversion action “Store visits” in conversion report. If you think you are eligible and still not getting store visit data in your account; Google has suggested contacting your AdWords representative.

How can Advertisers use this Data?

Google has referred the examples of two retailers testing with this metric. PetSmart – nation’s largest retailer for pet suppliers have found that 10-18% of the clicks on the ads leads to store visits. Now they have started investing in the ads having “Location Extensions”. Using location extensions in ads will allow them to show maps and store directions in the ad. That will help people easily find the nearby store and can drive more visits to the store when people search for the products they offer. Office Depot, Inc is the global provider of office products and offers the solutions for every workplace. They have around 2,000 OfficeMax retail locations. They are using store visits insights to determine which product is driving the maximum traffic to the nearest store. Using that data and adding such products in local inventory ads make it easy for searchers to identify the availability status of that product in nearby stores. That provides better buying experience to searchers and also let advertisers know about the products that people generally search for. Here you can get the better insights about the store visits feature.

According to a consumer’s local search behavior research by Google; more than 70% online consumers say it is essential to have location information in ads for better conversion. 74% of customers would like to know about the inventory status of the product in any store before visiting the store. This new store visits data grant exactly the same information which retailer or customer always look for. Advertisers can optimize the search advertising campaign using this data to get the best return on investment.

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