Google has finally released the long-awaited store visit attribution tool via AdWords to select partners in New Zealand. The tool allows us to close the loop by tracking those who click an ad or watch an online video then visit a physical store.

While this technology has been available in selected markets for a few years, its release in New Zealand is a step towards tracking conversions not just for large businesses, but SMB business too. As an added bonus, there are no extra platform fees to implement in order to tap into this data: the tool comes free as part of the AdWords suite.

So, how will this change our search campaigns? By closing this loop, we can create a more complete picture of return on investment. Tracking footfall attribution gets us one step closer to merging online and offline sales together to generate a more holistic view of what your search investment is delivering. Furthermore, this new conversion point validates current website conversion points, reducing ad fraud and dead clicks. This technology also gives us insight into metrics such as how far away from a store people are when they click a search ad, or how many days have passed between clicking on an ad and visiting the associated store.

With the use of portable beacons, this technology can also be used without traditional store fronts, instead transferred to pop-up stores, activations and events, offering value to more than retail clients and further bridging the online/offline gap.

By David Brownless, Account Executive