According to Google, 95% of retail sales still happen in physical stores- not online. Consumers often research at home or on their mobile devices and then go to a store to complete their purchase.
As business owners, we know that the buying funnel of a customer can happen online and offline. If you are a business owner with a physical location, such as a hotel, auto dealership, restaurant, and retail, is important to understand how of your in-store visits were driven from your paid ads. If you are a business owner with franchises or many physical locations and are already doing paid ads, this is something you must know!
To help market ads measure the in-store visits, Google created the In-Store Visit Conversions, which is a great opportunity to track offline store walk-ins and attribute the online value of your ad spend.
So, let’s dive in on what store visit conversions can do for advertisers:
In Store Visit Conversions
What Are They?
In-store visits is data collected anonymously by Google that will allow us to track how paid ads influence customers that end up going to a physical store.
Google can estimate the in-store visit by reviewing your phone location history and your Google My Business location to find out whether someone that clicks one of your ads actually visited a store. Google takes into account ad clicks from mobile, tablets, and desktops.
As an example, if someone clicked on a retail store ad at their laptops at home and they end up going to the physical store (and have their location GPS turned on), we can attribute that walk to one of the paid ads.
Keep in mind that the in-store conversions don’t guarantee that someone bought from you, only that they visited your store after clicking on one of your ads. Also, it won’t count as a conversion if there is a one minute visit. However, this data is significantly valuable for understanding consumer behavior.
How Do They Do It?
Google uses three of their own platforms to determine in-store visits:
- Google maps: If the users have their GPS turned on, Google knows their exact location.
- Google My Business: Google knows your store location when you create a GMB profile. GMB allows retailers to create and manage their store listings online across Google properties like Search & Maps. With GMB, retailers can also see insights of how many customers searched for their store and where they come from. It is important to have your GMB profile with the updated information and directions.
- Beacon Technology: Beacons are small, wireless transmitters that use low-energy Bluetooth technology to send signals to other smart devices nearby. They are one of the latest developments in location technology and proximity marketing. Put simply, they connect and transmit information to smart devices making location-based searching and interaction easier and more accurate.
- Data Validation: To ensure data accuracy, Google surveyed more 5 million people to confirm they actually visited the store.
- Understand Your Consumer Behavior: You will be able to determine what specific campaigns, keywords, and devices drove most of your store visits to your business. These are extremely useful when optimizing your campaign since you will have a better understanding of your consumers buying funnel.
- Understand your ROI and make informed decisions. Now that you have full visibility on what is generating your revenue, you can relocate your budget and efforts towards those keywords, devices, and ad copies that were top converters.
- Store Visit Conversion reporting can enhance a business’s digital strategy. You will be able to see the performance breakdown by individual store locations.
According to Google, store visit conversions are only available to certain advertisers. For example, they are not available to advertisers with sensitive location categories related to healthcare, religion, adult content, and children.
Store visit conversions are available to a limited number of Google advertisers. To be able to measure store visit conversions you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
- Receive thousands of ad clicks and viewable impressions.
- Have a Google My Business account linked to your Google Ads account.
- Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
How to Set it Up
If you have met the requirements above, you can contact your Google Ads account manager. If you are eligible, they will send you a beacon device to confirm a customer visited the store and link that data to your Google ads account.
To view your in-store conversions you can follow the step by step guide from Google: view store visit conversions.
- Understand your customers’ behavior by tracking: online sales as well as offline behavior.
- It is important to have your Google My Business profiles set properly and accurate.
- 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.
A Final Word
Tracking both in-store visits and online sales is vital to your company’s success. Thankfully, Google makes this easy! Tracking store visit conversions is available to a limited number of Google advertisers and is the key to knowing your customer’s real behavior. Contact your Google Ads account manager here at White Shark Media to find out if you can take advantage of this amazing use of data.