It’s easy for Google to prove that online ads drive web store traffic. Simply count the number of website clicks over the period of Google ad campaigns. What’s been really difficult for Google is proving that online ads can also drive in-store traffic.
To combat this, Google is rolling out a new tool called “store visits.” This tool allows marketers to see which type of search ads – including local inventory and product listing ads, motivate people to sign off and visit a physical store. The tool uses an algorithm to estimate the number of people who went to a store as a result of seeing an ad within 30 days. Advertisers are given anonymous data collected from smartphone users who have turned on their location history.
How do advertisers access the tool? They firstly need to verify their location with Google and set up location extensions in their AdWords account. They also need to be in the United States as it’s only available there now.However it will be gradually rolled out worldwide over the next few months.
Famous Footwear CMO Will Smith is optimistic about this new tool. He told Adweek, “The insight that we’re getting from our partners at Google are really showing that the influence of online advertising is in fact not only getting people to shop on famous.com but to shop our stores across the country as well.”
This tool has potential to take online ads results offline.