New Google Tool Lets Marketers Measure In-Store Visits

Measure In-Store VisitsIt's easy for marketers to see online ads as a driving force for online sales and traditional ads as a way to create physical conversion, but it no longer works that way. Online ads now play a big role in driving customers to physical stores, so creating these marketing divisions can actually harm overall sales. A new Google tool aims to help marketers understand how their online ads are impacting conversions in stores, and it could change the way many businesses think about the success of their ads.

The New Google Metrics Feature

Just a few weeks ago, Google added a new metric called "store visit measurement" to its Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) tool. This metric helps give AdWords users a window into how digital ads might be driving in-store visits, not just clicks and digital conversions.

According to Search Engine Watch, this new metric takes a company's collective search ads on Google across different devices — which include product listing ads (PLA), local inventory ads and other types of search ads — and combines them with insights from store visit data to create a report that shows the products (and, thereby, ads) that are driving in-store visits. Marketers can use this metric to see not just how digital ads are attracting in-store consumers, but also which ads are driving product sales. Being able to take a closer look at these numbers allows marketers to run more efficient campaigns and to spend their budgets more wisely on campaigns with a proven track record of producing in-store traffic.

According to Econsultancy, eMarketer reports that nearly 95 percent of retail sales still take place in brick-and-mortar stores, and 32 percent of consumers have reported that location-based search ads have influenced them to visit a store or make a purchase. Though this new Google metrics tool won't give marketers a complete picture of in-store shoppers the way it does with digital shoppers, it's a great staring point, and it's an essential tool for marketers trying to gain better insight into how their customers are responding to digital ads in ways other than a simple click.

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