Facebook first began partnering with Datalogix to show advertisers how their ads drive offline sales back in 2012. Last year, Twitter introduced its “offline sales impact” tool, developed with Datalogix, to measure the offline sales impact of promoted and organic tweets for consumer packaged goods and automotive advertisers.
Now Google is reportedly partnering with the big data providers to track in-store conversions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google is said to be partnering with several firms including Datalogix and Acxiom to measure the offline impact of Google AdWords ads by matching cookies on users’ computers to the in-store sales info gathered by the data providers. Michael’s craft stores is among the half-dozen or so advertisers participating in the test reports WSJ.
“We’re running a number of tests to help clients use their own sales data to measure how their search campaigns impact sales,” a Google spokesperson told us and WSJ,
In November, it was reported that Google was experimenting with using smartphone location data to track offline store visits and tie them back to ads seen on mobile devices.
These tests aren’t surprising. Last September, Google said it was working on adding in-store conversions when it introduced Estimated Total Conversions in AdWords to give advertisers the full picture of how their ads contribute to conversions no matter what the context or device a customer is using. At that time, the company rolled out Estimated Cross-Device Conversions to track when a user clicks on an ad from one device and later completes a transaction on a different device as the first new conversion type in the equation and said that phone calls and — the big jewel — in-store conversions would be coming soon.
If the company can show that a search ad led to an in-store purchase, it stands put search advertising in a whole new light for deep-pocketed brand advertisers. Google has added new ad features such as image extensions to give search advertising shinier appeal to brand advertisers.
On April 22, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management for AdWords will unveil new features during a livestream from an AdWords customer conference. It’s not clear, of course, if in-store conversions will be part of that announcement. New tools to help advertisers measure performance “efficiently in AdWords with new functionality designed for the multi-screen world” will be part of the lineup, though. Registration for the livestream is open here.