According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google has recently launched a new pilot program that will see it work with advertisers to “match the anonymous tracking cookies on users’ computers to in-store sales information collected by data providers.” The program would be a way for Google to link advertising campaigns running across its services online to actual people walking into the store and making purchases. The report described how Google is able to link clicks on ads online to purchases in brick and mortar locations:
Google’s new pilot program, dubbed In-Store Attribution Transaction Reporting in AdWords, works a bit differently, according to the people familiar with it… When a user clicks on an ad, Google sends an anonymous “click ID” to the advertiser. The advertiser likely has a cookie on the user’s computer, and matches that cookie to the click ID.
Days or weeks later, the user might buy a product in the retailer’s store. The data company and the retailer can take that purchase and link it back to the user’s cookie. Then they match the cookie to Google’s click ID. Ultimately, Google can tell advertisers which ads generated in-store sales and how much they generated, the people said.
Google confirmed the program to the publication saying, “We are running a number of tests to help clients use their own sales data to measure how their search campaigns impact sales.