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You Can Now Segment Store Visits by ‘New vs Returning’ in Google Ads

In an effort to connect online and offline retail, Google Ads recently made it easier to track store visit conversions coming from your Google Ads campaigns.

For retailers who measure store visits in their Google Ads accounts, Google's update has made it possible to segment them by ‘new vs. returning' store visitors within a specific period.

Why this matters

With high street stores struggling, it’s important to drive shoppers into physical stores. Here are a few stats that communicate the importance of connecting online and offline retail:

  • Beacon triggered content: 73% of shoppers are more likely to purchase if they receive beacon-triggered content and offers while browsing in-store.
  • Click and collect: 85% of Halford’s online orders are picked up in-store.
  • Store inventory: 8 out of 10 consumers are less likely to visit a store if they can’t see its store inventory.
  • Delivery fee woes: 73% of consumers purchase in-store to avoid delivery fees.

Google Ad's new update is aimed at making tracking simpler for retailers, while providing a better understanding of their customers’ behaviour, how their campaigns are affecting store visits and customer loyalty.

This then allows them to direct advertising spend where it will make the biggest impact and according to the stats above, a seamless online to offline experience is what consumers most desire.

How to Segment Google store visits by 'new vs. returning'

If you’ve already got store visits enabled, then you can start to segment your conversions data right away. If you haven’t, but would like to, this article will tell you how to get started.

1. Segment store conversion tables by “new vs. returning customers”. This will apply to all conversion columns including custom columns.

2. Based on the time period you selected for the “customer lapse window”, you can see previous visits and segment the conversions in the store visit conversion reports.

3. You can report on returning customers within a conversion window of 180 days, 90 days, 60 days or custom (between 1 and 180 days).

How does Google track store visits?

To enable conversion tracking or Google Analytics, auto-tracking is required in order to follow your customer from the second they click on an ad, to the moment they purchase whether that be on their website, on the phone, an app download or store visit.

When the customer clicks the ad, a parameter called GCLID (Google Click Identifier) is added to the URLs users click through.

When auto-tagging is enabled and you have a Google Analytics tag on your website, the GCLID is stored in a new Google Analytics cookie which can be found on your site’s domain.

But how are offline conversions tracked?

Google specifies 2 options:

1. Google Ads Conversion Import

This enables you to import conversions to Google Ads that began as an ad click or with a call from your ad. Setting up the import differs depending on whether it was a click or a call.

2. Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce

This option enables you to automatically see when sales that are tracked in Salesforce started with a click. If you use Salesforce’s Sales Cloud, it’s the best option. Learn more about this here.

Visit the article below to find out how to begin or expand your omnichannel strategy:

Get Started with Your Online to Offline Retail Strategy

We recommend taking any opportunity to better understand your customers and their journeys, especially when connecting online and offline.

For more information about how Intelligent Reach can help you drive customers to your stores via local inventory ads, get in touch.

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