Monday, January 05, 2015

Google's Store Visit Analytics

In December Google announced that it was rolling out store visit measurement to some businesses in the US.  Essentially it allows advertisers to see if people exposed to their ads then visited their stores.

They've clearly been testing it for a while - they quote two examples:

PetSmart - 10-18% of clicks on search ads lead to a store visit
"PetSmart, the nation's largest specialty retailer of pet supplies, uses store visits data to improve its customer shopping experience -- today, this often starts with people researching online and then visiting a store. Based on the insight that 10-18% of clicks on search ads lead to a store visit, PetSmart is now investing more in ads that reach customers across screens. For example, PetSmart has increased use of location extensions in their ads to show maps and directions to help people find nearby stores when they are searching for products like puppy treats or aquariums."

OfficeDepot - which products drive visits to which stores?
"Office Depot, Inc., formed as part of the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, is a leading global provider of products, services and solutions for every workplace -- whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car. The company uses insights from store visits data to understand which products, such as laptops, printers or backpacks, are driving people to visit one of its 2,000 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations. These insights help Office Depot, Inc., decide which products to include in its local inventory ads. These ads show whether or not a product is available in a nearby store and where the nearest store is located. This makes it simple for customers to discover what products are in stock as they’re shopping and researching online."

As with lots of these things it's US-only so far, but I'm sure it will come to the UK soon (ish), and Google will start to get closer to discovering the link between online advertising and in-store sales.  (Note that this is tracking visits to the store, not any purchased within the store).  I'd also expect there to be lots more interest in other companies in a similar space, like Place IQ, and Placed, and also for Facebook to develop something similar.

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