Create custom variables for store sales

You can create custom variables for your store sales conversion action and upload your offline transactions to predefined variable values. This feature allows 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.

On this page


Benefits

Apart from helping you draw 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 detailed 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:

  • You should be a retail, restaurant, or automotive business.
  • You upload your in-store transaction data.
  • Your Google Ads account should have access to store sales measurement and be properly set up.

This feature is automatically available to all advertisers meeting above requirements. Contact your Google Ads representative for more information.

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

What's 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 predefined by adding custom values associated with its custom variable.

What are the attributes of a custom variable?

There are 2 major attributes of a custom variable, as described here:

  • Variable level: There are 2 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 versus 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 versus 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

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
Important: When creating or uploading custom variables and custom variable values, don’t include any personally identifiable information (PII) or any sensitive categories (as per our data policies). Custom variables and their values should only reflect non-sensitive and non-personal data.

Create a new store sales custom variable

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  3. Click Custom variables.
    • It's required that the upload metadata refers to the active custom variable (if using custom variables or 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.
  4. Click the plus button .
  5. Enter a name for your custom variable.
  6. Click the drop-down menu to select a variable level: Cart level or Item level.
  7. 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. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  3. Click Custom variables.
  4. On the “Custom variables” page in Google Ads, select the custom variable.
  5. (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.
  6. (Optional) Update the name of your custom variable.
  7. Click Save.

Enable or pause a store sales custom variable

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  3. Click Custom variables.
  4. On the “Custom variables” page in Google Ads, click the status icon Image of inactive status icon next to a custom variable.
  5. 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.
  6. If you're 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. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
    • If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the page menu on the left.
  3. Click Custom variables.

View custom variable reporting

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop-down menu. Next, click Campaigns or Ad groups.
    • Alternatively, you can click the Audiences, keywords, and content drop-down menu. Next, click Search keywords.
  3. Click the Columns icon A picture of the Google Ads columns icon above the statistics table.
  4. Select Modify columns from the drop-down.
  5. Under "Select metrics", click Conversions.
  6. Add one or more relevant conversion columns, such as “All conv.” (All conversions), “All conv. value”, or any other desired predefined conversion column.
  7. Click the segment icon Segment above the statistics table.
  8. Select Conversions, then Custom variables.
  9. Select the desired custom variable name from the list.
  10. You can now view rows listing data by the selected custom variable name.

Upload instructions

Note: After creating a new custom variable, it's 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.

Why some conversions show as "Not Set" or "Uncategorized" with custom variables

  • “Not Set” can refer to:
    • Non-store sales conversions, if using “all conversions” or other columns which include non-store sales conversions, such as online. For example, you’re looking at a view that includes all conversions including online and store sales, but only the store sales conversions will have custom variable information.
    • Data where the custom variable wasn't set up or available during the date range. For example, you set up custom variables on June 1 and you’re looking at data from May 1 to June 30. The May data will show as “Not Set”.
  • “Uncategorized” is shown when sales aren’t assigned to a category. For example, you have 100 sales and assign 80 of them to custom variable values, but 20 of them have no variable value assigned. These 20 will be shown as “Uncategorized”.

RETURN TO STORE SALES HOME

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu