Unless you have a sophisticated Business Intelligence platform in place, it can be incredibly challenging to understand how your website influences traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations (a retail store, restaurant, hotel, etc.). But now you can, with the addition of Store Visits reports to Google Analytics.

Imagine being able to identify whether viewing certain types of content on your website correlates with a higher likelihood of visiting a store, or whether a hyperlocal coupon launched online in Delaware resulted in an increased number of store visits during the holiday season. This update allows your organization to make more informed and meaningful iterations to your online presence that drive real business value.

What is changing?

For years now, Google Analytics has been trying to add in the ability to see how visits to a website influence visits to physical store locations. As of July 2018, Google has been gradually rolling out the new Store Visits report (currently in beta) to Google Analytics accounts meeting certain eligibility requirements.

Currently the report is only available for website properties, so if you also use Google Analytics for native apps, stay tuned for more announcements on the horizon.

Does my business meet the requirements?

According to Google’s support article “About Store Visits in Analytics (in beta),” the requirements are as follows:

General requirements:

  • Have Analytics, Google Ads, and Google My Business accounts
  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries. Ask your account representative if store visit conversions are available in your location
  • Have high volumes of store visits data to attribute to website traffic

Analytics requirements:

  • Have activated Google signals
  • Have your Analytics property linked to at least one Google Ads account that contains location extensions from Google My Business
  • All Google Ads accounts linked to your Analytics property must have the same location extensions

Google Ads requirements:

  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your Google Ads account

More simply, your organization must have a Google Analytics, Ads, and Google My Business accounts and a high volume of store visits. If you meet all of the requirements and your organization has been included in the beta, find the report under Conversions on the left-hand navigation within Google Analytics.

Want some ideas on types of analyses to try out first?

Analyze behavioral differences between various regions of physical locations. Do southern regions have a higher store visits percentage compared to northern regions? Why might that be?

Determine effectiveness of digital advertising campaigns on store visits. If you define one store visit as one conversion, you can calculate the cost per conversion based on your digital advertising budget!

These are exciting times. Analyze away!