Google AdWords has teamed up with a number of advertisers to test ways to track whether consumers who click on their ads online follow up with in-store purchases, according to a news report.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google is testing out a new program called In-Store Attribution Transaction Reporting in AdWords, which is a lot of words that basically mean the company will be able to track your purchasing habits in the real world based on the ads you’ve been exposed to online.
“We are running a number of tests to help clients use their own sales data to measure how their search campaigns impact sales,” a Google representative told the WSJ.
Google is currently working with six different advertisers on the pilot program, although only the arts and craft chain Michaels Stores, Inc., could be identified.
How is-store tracking will work
When users click on one of the brand’s ads online, an anonymous “Click ID” is sent to the advertiser. The advertiser will have a cookie on the user’s computer which they can then match up with the “Click ID.”
Now, the user has become trackable. Weeks later, when the user walks into the brand’s store and makes a purchase, the brand will be able to link that purchase to the online ad though some sort of cookie and in-store purchases based on digital ads have been measured.
“If Google can demonstrate that people did not just click on an ad but that they actually bought something, that is the Holy Grail,” Benny Arbel, CEO of an advertising-technology company that works with Google, told WSJ. According to a Google advertising exec, the lack of data for measuring in-store sales based on online ads is one of the reasons big brands are more apt to spend money on traditional media advertising rather than digital ads.
To calm privacy fears, Google told the WSJ that the company designed the test so that Google never knows the identity of the user,” WSJ reported.
Watch this WSJ report below: