How Google is closing the online-offline reporting loop through AdWords

As the big retail rush begins, Google has updated two key reports that make it easier for retailers to see the impact of their digital campaigns on in-store sales.

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As stores prepared for the carnage and chaos of Black Friday, Google was beefing up two key reporting tools in Adwords reporting, helping retailers take another step towards achieving that sometimes elusive ‘single customer view’.

Store visit performance reports and distance reporting were rolled into Adwords, giving advertisers some useful tools that could influence their paid ad campaigns over the holiday rush.

So what’s new?

Store visit performance

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Store visit performance reporting allows advertisers to determine which geographic areas are driving the most ad clicks that result in a store visit. For example, you may find that people who click your ad in Manchester are more likely to visit a store, whilst those who click your ads in Birmingham are more likely to buy online, or not buy at all.

There may be many reasons for this – you may have fewer stores in one city and the parking may be terrible for example, but what it allows advertisers to do is adjust their budgets based on specific locations that do drive store visits, and reducing ad spend on areas that drive fewer store visits.

Distance reporting

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Distance reporting is slightly different in that is allows advertisers to track store visits based on how far away people are from a store location when they begin their initial search.

It may be the case that certain stores may pull visitors from a larger or smaller radius than others, due perhaps to the proximity of certain stores, proximity to a motorway or major rail station, or due to localised demographics. What this report allows advertisers to do is identify what that optimum radius is, and target ads to that specific area.

So why does this matter?

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The new reports were released as Google shared some trends insights on mobile search and store traffic patterns from Black Friday weekend last year.

Google reported that mobile played a key role in driving store footfall during Black Friday weekend, with 59% of mobile shopping searches occurring before 6:00pm – the point at which store traffic started to pick up.

What this data does is allow retailers to take a step forward in understanding the value that online has on offline sales, and gives them the insight to take specific budget decisions based on real-time location data. That has significant potential for more optimised campaigns, reduced waste and greater ROI.

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