Create custom variables for store sales

You can create custom variables for your store sales conversion action and upload your offline transactions to pre-defined variable values. This feature enables you to upload your offline sales data at a more granular level, and to see your online-to-offline conversions and ROI at slices that matter to your business.

By creating a custom variable with your store sales conversion action in Google Ads, you can see how a campaign or ad group drives a specific kind of sales transaction, such as sales of a product type or sales by a specific customer segment. 

Custom variables are only available for retail and restaurant businesses using store sales measurement.

Benefits

Apart from helping you draw actionable insights for your offline business, using custom variables with your store sales conversion action offers valuable features to help you maximize your online-to-offline marketing investments.

  • Custom variable segmentation: Custom variables allow you to segment your conversion data by different groups (for example, by customer segment or by product category) for more actionable insights. In addition to receiving reporting for overall sales at the store sales conversion action level, you can create custom variables (as a subset of this conversion action) and upload transactions for those relevant segments to receive reporting at this additional granularity.

Before you begin

To be able to use this feature:

This feature is automatically available to all advertisers meeting above requirements. Please contact your Google sales representative for more information.

Before you begin setting up your custom variables, see the following definitions and examples to understand how custom variables work.

What is a custom variable?

A custom variable is a custom segment defined by you that dictates the upload and reporting granularity for your store sales measurement. Custom variables are defined within a store sales conversion action. You can define a custom variable to be a "group of product categories," "a group of customer types," or more. The specific values of this group are pre-defined by adding custom values associated with its custom variable.

What are the attributes of a custom variable?

There are two major attributes of a custom variable, as described here:

  • Variable level: There are two types of variable levels, named “Cart level” and “Item level”. 
    • Cart level should be used when the custom variable is intended to track transactions at a sale transaction level. For example, if the custom variable is defined as “Customer Type” (where you would like to upload and track your offline transactions by new vs. returning customers), then you should choose “Cart level” as the variable level.
    • Item level should be used when you would like to upload and track your offline transactions based on specific items within a basket. For example, if you want to track sales of specific products or categories of products, such as "shoes vs. apparel".
  • Variable values: These are the specific values that are part of the variable. From the examples above, if the custom variable is defined as “Customer Type”, then variable values can be  “New Customer” and “Returning Customer”.

Follow the instructions below to set up and upload to custom variables for your store sales conversions. 

Instructions

Create a new store sales custom variable

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner of your account, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon].
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  4. Click Custom variables.
    • It's required that the upload metadata refers to the active custom variable (if using custom variable/values in the upload). Google Ads won’t accept any uploads for custom variables that aren’t active.
    • You can add up to 20 custom variable values for each custom variable. These values should be mutually exclusive.
  5. Click the plus button .
  6. Enter a name for your custom variable.
  7. Click the drop-down menu to select a variable level: Cart level or Item level.
  8. Enter your variable values. Make sure the variable values are accurate, as you won’t be able to change or remove them after you save the custom variable.

    Example

    Cart level variable values

    • If you segment your store sales by customer segments, then your variable values may include different customer loyalty tiers (such as “Bronze”, “Gold”, or “Platinum”).

    Item level variable values

    • If you segment your store sales by product categories, then your variable values may include “Apparel”, “Grocery”, and “Electronics”. 
  1. Click Save.
  2. To use the custom variable, click Save and Enable when prompted. If you would like to continue uploading to the last active custom variable, choose Save Only instead.

Edit an existing store sales custom variable

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner of your account, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon].
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  4. Click Custom variables.
  5. On the “Custom variables” page in Google Ads, select the custom variable.
  6. (Optional) If you have less than 20 variable values, you may add new variable values until you meet the limit. Keep in mind that you can’t change or remove any previously added variable values.
  7. (Optional) Update the name of your custom variable.
  8. Click Save.

Enable or pause a store sales custom variable

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner of your account, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon].
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  4. Click Custom variables.
  5. On the “Custom variables” page in Google Ads, click the status icon Image of inactive status icon next to a custom variable.
  6. Click Enable or Pause. If you enable the custom variable, this will pause another custom variable in your account, as only one custom variable can be enabled at a time.
  7. If you are working with a data partner for your store sales uploads, you should inform the partner of any activation or deactivation made to custom variables in your Google Ads account.  

Manage all store sales custom variables

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner of your account, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon].
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  4. Click Custom variables.

Upload instructions

  • Once you complete the above set up, refer to Upload your store sales data for detailed instructions on making an offline file upload. Make sure you follow the nuances for custom variables while formatting your offline data file.
  • Note: After creating a new custom variable, it is recommended that you upload the last 90 days of your offline transaction data to the custom variable, irrespective of whether you were or were not using store sales measurement before.

RETURN TO STORE SALES HOME

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