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Drive Offline Sales with Online Ads: Google Best Practices

Measuring the full value of your online ads

When it comes to running your AdWords campaigns, it’s important to optimize your campaigns for maximum return to the business as a whole. And whether that return is from an online or offline channel, it’s all part of the same pie. That’s why measuring and tracking the full impact of your campaigns is so important. It can help to start conversations or planning sessions by thinking about how best to connect with today’s “omni-channel” consumers that move seamlessly between channels depending on their needs in the moment.

We’ll get you started on a simple model that you can bring to the boardroom (or water cooler) that gets everyone thinking about the full impact that digital is contributing. Then, we’ll go over how you can potentially get even better data to work with.

This video references the previous version of AdWords. Learn how to check which version you're using.

Measure the Offline Value of Your Online Ads

Measuring and tracking the full impact of your AdWords campaigns is important to help maximize return on investment. This video will cover how to start measuring the offline value that’s driven by your online ads.

Calculate the value of offline sales that is driven by your online ads.

Let’s start with a simple model for calculating the value of an offline conversion for your online campaigns. You can partner with your offline store marketing team to help you get started on some of the basic assumptions.

Step 1: Let’s gather some data about your offline conversion rates and order values.

Example
Data Point 1: Number of store visits conversions = 7,500
This is the number of folks who visit your business after seeing an online ad.

Tip

Store visit conversions for Search, Shopping, Google Display Network and YouTube campaigns is a feature available in AdWords for eligible advertisers. The metric provides insight into the number of users who visited a store up to 30 days after they clicked on your Search or Display ad, or watched or engaged with your YouTube ad. Contact a Google Account Manager and see if you’re eligible for this feature. To learn more about different online-to-offline measurement solutions, check out this guide.

Tip

If you aren't eligible for store visit reporting you can make some assumptions about the number of store visits you've received by reviewing clicks on the “Get Directions” or “Get Location Details” links in your location extensions. You can make some assumptions about how many people visited your store who expressed interest by clicking on those links.

Data point 2: Visit-to-sale conversion rate = 30%
How many of those who visited your location after seeing an ad are likely to make a purchase?

Data point 3: Average order value at your location = $50
What is the average order size of an offline purchase?

Tip

If you have limited data to calculate these figures, reach out to your store or local marketing teams.

 

Step 2: Use this formula to figure out the offline return from your search ads:


Attributable store sales from online ads

For Search, YouTube and Display ads:
Attributable store sales = Total store visits x Store conversion rate x Average conversion value

Business visits driven by your ads = 7,500

Attributable OFFLINE transactions = 2,250 (or 7,500 * 30%)

Tip

Store Sales Measurement is available for AdWords for eligible Search and Shopping advertisers. Say a user clicks on an ad and then visits the advertiser’s store nearby to complete the purchase. Using Store Sales Direct, you can tie online clicks to offline purchases by uploading transaction data from the point of sale into AdWords (e.g. from your loyalty program or customer database). You can also categorize different types and sources of store sales to get deeper insights into your offline performance.

 Attributable OFFLINE sales revenue = $112,500 (or 2,250 * $50)

Tracked ONLINE sales in AdWords = $87,500
AdWords spend = $20,000

Using this simple model, you can estimate that for every $1 invested , you’re making $5.63 in offline sales and $10 in total sales. Now you can optimize your bids using a more accurate measure of return from your ad dollars. In this case, you can bid up until your CPA is about 130% higher and still achieve the same return on ad spend. 

Case Study (Search)

Matalan, a leading retailer in the U.K., used store visits reporting to discover that for every one website transaction driven by its online ads, an additional six customers visit a store. By measuring offline purchases with Store Sales Direct, the brand also found that it generated £46 for every £1 spent on mobile ads, £31 of which came in-store.

Case Study (YouTube)

Through Google's store visits solution, IHOP gained useful consumer insights that helped them drive visits from YouTube for less than $1 per guest.

Case Study (Search, YouTube)

Elgiganten, a Swedish electronics retailer, found that its video campaigns brought 6-10% of users who viewed its ad on YouTube to its stores. Overall, the brand has seen an 8.8% increase in its sales, and learned that its search traffic delivers a 21% higher return on ad spend on mobile phones versus desktop.

Case Study (GDN)

Lawson, a convenience store chain, was the first advertiser in Japan to use store visits. With a richer view of its offline performance, the brand learned that mobile ads were more effective and cost-efficient at driving foot traffic to its stores, saving them 45% more in costs per visit compared to desktop and tablet ads.

Understanding total omnichannel ROAS used to require a number broad assumptions. As new tools have become available, though, you can now rely more and more on actionable data that removes the need for estimates.

Here are some options to consider:

Measurement to use... If you want to...
Store Visits Reporting* See the number of visits to a business location driven by Google search and display ads.
Store Sales Direct* Attribute offline store sales that are driven by Google Search and Shopping ads. This can also be used with anything you have in your CRM or loyalty system.
Conversion import Supplement store visits and store sales reporting in AdWords with imported data from your CRM.
DoubleClick for Search* Report in-store conversions for all search networks compatible with DoubleClick.
*Contact your Google Account Manager to see if you're eligible.

Note

Brand marketers like consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers or electronics manufacturers are often asked to prove how their online ads drive offline sales. To learn more about how to run these sales lift experiments and measure the incremental impact of your marketing, contact your Google Account Manager for more information and download our latest guide called Proving Marketing Impact: 3 Keys to Doing It Right. If you want to start thinking about how to attribute sales across all marketing channels, consider upgrading to the Google Analytics 360 Suite.

 

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