Andras Marcell Marko

Jan 11, 2018

posted by Andras Marcell Marko

Store Visit Conversions Basic – Good to Know About

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Shop entrance weare are open

Should you run a medium-, or a large sized retail chain store unit, the confluence of Google Maps Local Search ads data mass and the walk in-store conversions metrics will contribute with a powerful impact to your marketing planning. From 2014 December Google has been reporting the estimated store visit volumes to deliver data to the advertisers how ad clicks helped to send foot traffic to their offline stores. The solution has started to solve the problem when customers can buy both online and by walking in your store space and advertisers get confused about how the Adwords campaign is doing and which channel to invest into.

Efficacy of Store Visits metrics: Consumers choose stores close to their location

Source: SLEcommerce

In the recent 3 years Google has amounted around 5 billion store visits since AdWords introduced the in-store visits metric in late 2014 to map complex customer journeys started up with PPC ads but ended up in physical visits in the stores.

Google Maps can be harnessed because of its monstrous database of coordinates and buildings. „Store Visits” utilizes this data mass, along with the transmission tower-, GPS-, and Wi-Fi signal data to find the customer’s location from where the visited store identities can be defined with an emerging level of accuracy. To bolster the efficiency, YouTube TrueView data is also being integrated into this data mass. In addition, Google plans to place the store sales management onto the device, to get them feedback to the Adwords from the point of sale to differentiate a conversion from empty store visits.

Store Visits methodology

Source: Dagensmedia


Being close to a store doesn’t mean a visit

Twenty second-long visit can not fall into the same category as the 20-30 minute long visit. Twenty second might simply mean that your wanted customer just passed along your storefront to approach the ramen shop next to your showroom. A one-minute visit isn’t likely to be a purchase unless the customer is very determined and there aren’t other customers in the queue. Hours-long visits also have to be cut off because they are more likely to belong to the sales staff.

Store Visit Conversions definition

Store visit conversions aren’t crispy analytics, they are estimated only – as Google hasn’t got data about how many of the visitors buy from your store.

Google examines only:

The location where the ad clicks happened,

Ad clicks on all the device scope (tablet, phone, desktop)

How many clicks ended in physical visits in the store,

Proximity data – how far away the click is from the store,

You can gain processible data which devices, ad campaigns or keywords drove the most visitors to your showroom to help you in better ROI optimization. Privacy is strictly protected, this in-store conversion data mass never contains any personal data and no data point can be connected to individuals.

Under the hood:  Data used to Measure Store Visits

Store Visits is the result of the cooperation of Google Maps and Adwords teams. Google Maps knows the coordinates of retail shops and other businesses plus the location history of hundreds of million of users. The estimations take the raw data arriving from the panel of opted-in users who provide their on-ground location history, Google Earth and Google Maps Street View data, Google query data, Visit behaviour, GPS location signals, Store coordinates and Wi-Fi-strength signal in stores. (after Google team walked in and made surveys about the wi-fi and mobile internet signal strength in the stores)

Google underpinned the research with getting 5 millions of users to fill in a survey whether have they really visited the store to their query and location info referred to? The answer was close to the comforting 99% .

The Accuracy

The person who clicked on the store’s ad online is not likely to be the very customer who walks in your store.

Note that Store Visits delivers only estimates, (estimated number of visits, and not the sales) because tracking the location changes of named individuals is prohibited by the law – hence they use only aggregated anonymous data.

Store Visits metrics are sourced from mobile, tab and desktop ad clicks of Adwords campaigns: main page, product page, product listing or category page or special landing pages created especially to highlight the proximity to the clicked location. Offline visits are valid in the following 30 days of the click.

Where to find Store Visit Conversions on your dashboard?

You can find the Store Visit Conversions in the “All conversions” column along with your other reports. You can break down store visits to campaign, device, ad cluster and keywords. See the step-by-step instructions.


What advertisers can qualify for the for Store Visits service?

Momently national or multinational chains that can amass enough data are favoured but it will trickle down to small- and medium sized retailers and service providers like cinemas wellness spas or restaurants.

Not every shops are able to track their store visits yet – see the requirements:

Business units must:

-be location registered + verified with Google. Also the business must be capable to linked into Adwords campaigns.

-have more stores in the countries eligible for Store Visits

-must have a large volume of ad clicks and walk-in traffic

-enable location extensions

-their Google My Business account must be linked to their AdWords account (if they have more physical stores, each of them need Google My Business account)

Case Studies

Google often refers to 2 examples: The first is PetSmart, an US-based petcare store chain that showed an emergence from 10  to 18 % in store visits sparked by online ad clicks. Another often cited case study is the Nissan UK who reported 6% of the mobile ad clicks to have implied a visit in the showroom. Seven Eleven Japan also found that 10% of the searches on mobile led to a store visit.

Another case study mentions the 146 showrooms of BMW UK that realized 173:1 Return On Investment from Search Marketing with Google Insights from Store Visit Conversions in AdWords. 3.5% of the paid ad clicks entailed a physical walk-in within 30 days.

Google Incrementality Study about Store Visits

Source: Google Incrementality Study, Adwords Googleblog


Another study run by Google to quantify the substantial offline impact mobile-based search ads can result in. 10 top big box U.S. retailers were involved with the study (like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond) to gain a clear view of how many percent of the store visits were incremental. The mobile search ads-driven incremental store visits outnumbered their volume of online deal conversions. This study set out that these store visits were the direct results of the mobile-based paid ads and wouldn’t have happened without them.


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