As retailers, everyone knows the importance of digital to offline synergy and how tracking plays such a huge impact on campaign planning and marketing strategy. This is especially true for direct ROI channels such as Paid Marketing. But what about tracking in-store conversion?

With Google claiming 90 percent of sales still happen in stores, how do we track from ad view to store visit?

The consumer purchase journey is now more complex than ever, and Google wanted to create a way for businesses to understand how much in-store foot traffic was being driven by location-based PPC ads.

Thus, in-store conversion tracking was born!

Until very recently, the main ways to track in-store conversion performance from PPC activity were:

  • Click and collect sitelink via ad extensions
  • Printing a voucher after users enter their email address – often to claim a free gift at the checkout
  • Show an instore code
  • Track the number of ‘store page information’ page views from a PPC ad click

But now there’s a better way.

At the Google Performance Summit, in-store conversion was one of the huge topics of conversation – as well as Expanded Text Ads and a preview of the new AdWords interface. After being in Alpha and Beta tests for a number of years, Google promised this new performance metric would soon become more widely available to more businesses.

There’s a short video to explain what they are…

In order to make sense of tracking, the data Google uses to acquire in-store visit data is taken from multiple sources. As well as location data based on device GPS, search terms and AdWords click data and the other methods mentioned in the video, Google uses direct response surveys via tools such as their Opinion Rewards app to qualify reliability of data.

This app questions users on which stores they’ve visited recently, and 5 million people have used this to-date; confirming they actually visited a store!

Google used this information to update its algorithms and reported that its results are “99 percent accurate”. As a reward, the app user gets approximately 6-25p into their Google Play account depending on the complexity of the answer.

With Google Maps being such a crucial factor in this measurement, the AdWords team have worked closely with the Google Maps team to match user location history for hundreds of millions of users, with Maps data for more than 2 million businesses.

How do we learn from them?

In-store conversion data helps advertisers and brands understand which ad campaigns, keywords, and devices send the most people to their store, so we can optimise your account to increase ROI.

However, one caveat to in-store conversion tracking is that it doesn’t guarantee that someone bought from you – just that they visited after clicking on one of your ads.

BUT! If you know the percentage of store visitors that purchase, and their AOV, then we can estimate the value of PPC to in-store conversion.

How does my brand get involved and what results can we expect?

With this new metric being under wraps and only open to certain advertisers during the Beta, previous conditions were that retailers had to spend a minimum of £50,000 per month on AdWords, and have at least 30 stores linked to Google MyBusiness (more info on maximising Google MyBusiness can be found here).

One such brand who took part in the trial is Automotive company, Nissan, who discovered 6% mobile ad clicks resulted in a dealership visit. Considering the average order value of a car, and the fact that on average a car buyer only visits a showroom twice before purchasing, the return on investment from in-store conversion is huge.

Taking the Nissan example into consideration, and the stringent rules Google put in place for being considered for the beta, the good news is that they are opening in-store conversion tracking to more and more retailers.

As a minimum, Google MyBusiness must be linked to AdWords and location extensions should be enabled.

As a Premier Partner agency, we get exclusive access to betas and have bi-weekly communication from our Google reps who can fast-track eligible clients, and keep brands on the cutting edge of paid marketing technology.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more!