Google Rolls Out In-Store Conversion Tracking

Business owners have the power to track every move a customer makes along their customer journey behind the computer screen, but what happens when those conversions start online and end with an in-store purchase?

Back in October, Google set out to bridge this gap with the introduction of Estimated Total Conversions. Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) help marketers track all possible conversions driven by paid Google ads whether that happens via phone call, app download or through the use of multiple devices. The October announcement also promised the release of Google’s most recent ETC, and the missing piece to our offline conversion tracking puzzle, “store visits.”


With store visits insights, marketers have the ability to track a customer journey that starts online and ends in store. So how exactly does Google estimate in-store conversions? Google uses location settings enabled on a user’s smartphone to determine their proximity to the advertiser’s location listed on Google Maps.

It is important to note that store visit metrics are only an estimate of the number of users who viewed your paid search ad and proceeded to visit your store after viewing your ad. Google stresses that the new feature has been designed to keep customers data private and secure. A user’s actual location will not be provided to advertisers.

As of now, store visits are available to large retailers with enough customers to provide a sufficient data sample for tracking. As with any roll-out of a new feature, it will become more widely available as interest grows.

Retailers are currently leveraging the data provided by store visit insights to improve their Google AdWords campaigns. In a recent case study with PetSmart, the data revealed that 10 to 18 percent of clicks on search ads lead to a store visits. With that knowledge, PetSmart made an informed decision to increase their use of location extensions within their AdWords campaigns.

With each advancement in analytics tracking, advertisers are moving closer and closer to their customers and better able to determine the ROI of their marketing investments. How do you think this new estimated conversion metric will impact your paid search strategy?


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Rio Ziegler

Social Media Manager at Customer Magnetism
When Rio is not whipping up social media content, managing social ads, and analyzing social data, you can find her living in her local gym, pursuing a plethora of random hobbies, and feeding her addiction to salt water as CM’s resident mermaid.