Spring is here, and it’s a great time to set your sights on creating new marketing goals and ensuring that your campaigns are set up for success. You now have access to new and improved reporting tools that will help you identify opportunities in your account, track the right metrics, and find deeper insights that might help you improve performance.

Read on to find out how you can put these tools to work in your campaigns this year.
  • Campaign details reports provide a faster, easier way to see which features and settings are enabled in each of your campaigns.
  • Custom Columns let you create and view segmented columns for the metrics you care about most in your account. 
  • Top Movers Report improvements help you identify significant performance changes in your campaigns and ad groups so you can take action to optimize your account. 

1. Check your settings and close easy gaps 

Understanding the status of your settings is an important part of ensuring that your campaigns are set up for success. Consider the impact, for example, if your campaigns were accidentally missing mobile bid modifiers? With the new campaign details report you can quickly see settings that aren’t being utilized and identify opportunities for improvement across your account or MCC.

With the new reports, you can:
  • Quickly find inconsistent settings that could be limiting performance
  • Identify settings that you aren’t yet utilizing
  • View details alongside your performance metrics to get a more comprehensive look at account performance
Let’s say you want to improve CTR across your text ads by adding sitelinks to all of your campaigns. Previously, you would have individually looked at the ad extensions tab for each campaign to check the status of your sitelinks. For a hundred campaigns, this task could take a couple hours to complete. Using the campaign details report, you can see all of the campaigns that currently have active or disapproved sitelinks in just a few minutes. Now, you can spend less time searching for your settings and more time activating opportunities that might improve performance.
Find settings and opportunities on the "Campaigns" tab
2. Analyze for deeper insights 

As we announced a few months ago, Custom columns lets you customize the data and columns you see in your accounts. By selecting an existing metric, such as ‘CPC,’ and applying another segment such as ‘Mobile,’ you can quickly create a new custom column that lets you see ‘Mobile CPC’. With this new flexibility, Custom columns can help you save time and monitor the business metrics that matter most to you. Shaan Rupani from Dropbox tells us, “Custom columns have been a huge time-saver. Evaluating performance by conversion type, device, and network in columns instead of ad-hoc segmented reports will easily save us hours of work each month.” Learn more.

3. Keep tabs on your performance

The Top Movers report helps you identify the campaigns and ad groups that have changed the most over a specific period of time and helps you identify possible causes.

In the last few weeks, we’ve made some improvements to the report. You will notice a new, simplified interface that makes it easier to spot significant changes across your account and quickly take action on developing trends. For example, the summary table at the top has been distilled to show key changes in your top movers metrics for the date range you set. And, you can scroll down to see the campaigns and ad groups that have changed the most for cost, clicks, and conversions so you can quickly take action to improve performance. Learn more.
Use the Top movers report to find significant changes across your account
Getting started 

We hope these three tools help you more easily monitor performance, view actionable insights, and quickly identify opportunities to improve performance. To learn more about these and other reporting tools designed to help you monitor and measure the success of your campaigns at scale, check out our AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Jon Diorio, Group Product Manager, AdWords

Since 2008 we’ve been working to make sure all of our services use strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means people using products like Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Drive will automatically have an encrypted connection to Google. In addition to providing a secure connection on our own products, we’ve been big proponents of the idea of “HTTPS Everywhere,” encouraging webmasters to prevent and fix security breaches on their sites, and using HTTPS as a signal in our search ranking algorithm.

This year, we’re working to bring this “HTTPS Everywhere” mission to our ads products as well, to support all of our advertiser and publisher partners. Here are some of the specific initiatives we’re working on:
  • We’ve moved all YouTube ads to HTTPS as of the end of 2014.
  • Search on is already encrypted for a vast majority of users and we are working towards encrypting search ads across our systems. 
  • By June 30, 2015, the vast majority of mobile, video, and desktop display ads served to the Google Display Network, AdMob and DoubleClick publishers will be encrypted.
  • Also by June 30, 2015, advertisers using any of our buying platforms, including AdWords and DoubleClick, will be able to serve HTTPS-encrypted display ads to all HTTPS-enabled inventory. 
Of course we’re not alone in this goal. By encrypting ads, the advertising industry can help make the internet a little safer for all users. Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) published a call to action to adopt HTTPS ads, and many industry players are also working to meet HTTPS requirements. We’re big supporters of these industry-wide efforts to make HTTPS everywhere a reality.

Our HTTPS Everywhere ads initiatives will join some of our other efforts to provide a great ads experience online for our users, like “Why this Ad?”, “Mute This Ad” and TrueView skippable ads. With these security changes to our ads systems, we’re one step closer to ensuring users everywhere are safe and secure every time they choose to watch a video, map out a trip in a new city, or open their favorite app.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Product Management, Display and Video Ads and Jerry Dischler, Vice President Product Management, AdWords

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out three new features to help multi-channel advertisers more easily manage their reporting and find the insights that matter most to them.

For advertisers with multiple types of campaigns and advertising goals, reporting can be a tedious and time-consuming task. For example, to report on specific goals related to your Search, Display or Shopping Network campaigns, you may find yourself filtering for your campaign type, and re-adjusting your columns several times to view the information you need.

With these three new reporting features, you’ll now be able to easily
  • Filter your account by campaign type
  • See more relevant columns more quickly 
  • Apply column sets based on your advertising goals 

Easily filter your account by campaign type

The new campaign type selector lets you quickly filter your account by campaign type, so you can see results for just your Search, Display or Shopping Network campaigns. For example, if you’re reporting on Display Network performance, you can quickly see all ad groups in your Display campaigns with one simple step.
Easily filter for the campaign types you want to view
See more relevant columns based on campaign type 

Are you tired of constantly switching columns when you go from reporting on Search Network campaigns to reporting on Display Network campaigns? Now, your last viewed columns, which previously have only been stored by tab - like campaign, ad group or keywords - will be stored by both tab and campaign type.

Let’s say you're on the Ad groups tab looking at the Clicks and Avg. CPC columns for a Search campaign. Then, you look at the ad groups in a Display campaign and adjust your columns to see Impressions and Avg. CPM. Now, when you look at the Ad groups tab for Search campaigns, you’ll see columns for Clicks and Avg. CPC.  But when you switch to Display Network campaigns, you’ll see Impressions and Avg. CPM. This lets you quickly see more relevant columns based on your campaign type.

Quickly apply column sets based on your advertising goals 

To make it faster and easier to view data for specific advertising goals, we’re introducing pre-defined column sets. These column sets help you quickly load up reporting columns that are tailored to different advertising goals. For example, you may have multiple Display campaigns, some that are focused on branding goals, and others that are focused on performance goals. With pre-defined column sets, you can easily switch your reporting view to see columns specific to each of these advertising goals. And, you can always get back to your last column selection by choosing Custom from the "Columns" drop-down menu.
Pre-defined column sets help you find insights for Branding or Conversion Goals
Next steps

These reporting improvements will be rolled out over the next few weeks to advertisers with more than one type of campaign in their account. To learn how you can start using them in your daily reporting, check out our Help Center.

Posted by Pallavi Naresh, Product Manager, AdWords 

Mobile has forever changed the ways people engage with the world around them -- from the way we shop to the way we communicate. In fact, 91% of smartphone users now turn to their phones for ideas while right in the middle of a task1 -- like picking out new running shoes or looking up a chocolate cake recipe. Because we can be online anywhere at any time, we count on information being immediately available and relevant. This expectation has changed how people make decisions and has created tremendous opportunities for marketers.

To meet the heightened expectations of today’s consumers, Google is focused on delivering AdWords innovations that enable you to better reach and influence your customers in the countless moments throughout the day when they are looking for answers, discovering new things, or making decisions. On May 5, 2015 at 9:30am PT / 12:30pm ET, I will be hosting a livestream to share these new products with you. You can watch the 45-minute event live, right here on the Inside AdWords blog.

Register for the livestream here.

Join us to learn about new products that are designed to:
  • Create better mobile experiences for your customers at the moments when they’re looking for your products and services
  • Measure all the moments that matter to your business – online and offline, across multiple devices and touchpoints
  • Customize and scale everything you do in AdWords, to unlock the full potential of increasingly complex consumer journeys

These innovations are built based on unique insights about how consumers engage with technology and feedback from customers, large and small, from around the world. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Please register and join us May 5th. Until then, follow us on our +GoogleAds page for sneak previews of what’s to come.

Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President, Product Management, AdWords

1Google/Ipsos Consumer Research Study, March 2015

Constant connectivity has forever changed the way people live and shop, giving rise to new consumer paths and blurring the lines between digital and physical experiences. With a quick search on any device, we can locate nearby businesses or find product availability in a local store in just a matter of seconds. In fact, 88% of US shoppers research online - on phones, tablets and computers - before making an offline purchase.1

As consumers’ paths to purchase continue to get more complex, it is more important than ever to understand how various devices, channels and media influence decisions along the way. Only then can marketers give credit where it’s due – both between and within channels.

We’re working hard to measure these new paths to purchase in AdWords. Last year, we announced store visits as part of Estimated Total Conversions to help marketers measure these new conversion paths -- an important step in bridging the digital and physical worlds. Since then, businesses across many industries have been able to measure the full value of their AdWords marketing. When businesses include store visits data as part of their overall conversions, they see that their marketing is driving more impact.

For example, in the US, retailers are measuring, on average, 4x more conversions overall and 10x more conversions on mobile when including store visits data as part of their search ads performance.
In the US Auto and Travel verticals, where driving a consumer to a dealer lot or hotel is a high value event, advertisers are measuring 2x more conversions when including store visits data. This means an auto dealer can attribute twice as much impact for every click on their AdWords search ads because they are now able to include visits to their showrooms.

As marketers across many industries recognize that digital media drives people to stores and begin to use these insights, we wanted to share more perspectives from advertisers already using the data, information about how the product works and best practices for ad creative, targeting and attribution.

Customer Stories
With AdWords store visits data, Sephora is able to measure how digital advertising acts as a magnet to draw customers into its 803 US stores. Sephora learned that it receives an 18% higher store visits rate from mobile clicks compared to desktop. Based on that data, Sephora optimized its mobile bidding strategy to achieve a 25% higher return on ad spend than when measuring the impact of paid search on ecommerce sales alone. With insights from store visits, Sephora continues to use Local Inventory Ads to let customers looking for lipstick, eyeliner, or perfume know when those products are available at a nearby store.

Buffalo Wild Wings, a national restaurant and sports bar franchise with over 1,000 locations, used insights from store visits data to validate and adjust its bidding strategy and realized an 84% lift in conversions. Buffalo Wild Wings is also optimizing bids for local keywords and improving the online to offline guest experience. For example, its mobile search ads feature location extensions that show phone numbers and directions to nearby restaurants and to people searching for wings, beer and live sports.
As a reminder, store visits are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have turned on Location History. This data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population and only reported if it reaches a strict, highly conservative confidence level. To learn more about how the product works, visit our Help Center or watch this helpful video.
Best Practices Guide

Finally, to help advertisers succeed with their online to store campaigns in AdWords, we’ve created a new Best Practices Guide.

This guide will show you how to:
  • Enhance your online ads to help potential customers looking to visit one of your business locations
  • Improve the chances that the right person will see your ads through smarter targeting and bidding
  • Measure the incremental offline value of your online efforts
  • Fine-tune your campaigns for maximum return for your business, factoring both online and offline conversions
Throughout the year, we’ll continue to share best practices and stories from customers already using these insights to improve their businesses.  And we’ll be launching store visits conversions in 10 additional countries, starting today, in Australia and Canada.

We look forward to working with you to build better online to offline experiences for your customers.

Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Mobile Search Ads

1PWC, Research: Understanding how us online shoppers are reshaping the retail experience, March 2012

In today's constantly connected world, there are billions of moments throughout the day when people are looking for answers, discovering new things, making a decision or looking for entertainment. In these moments, consumers' expectations are very high – they want things right, and right away. Successful brands are those that deliver a great experience at the exact moment a consumer is looking for it.

It was with this belief in the importance of intent and relevance that 5 years ago we launched TrueView ads, which gave users the choice to watch or skip ads. It was a leap of faith based on the belief that viewers would choose to watch ads on YouTube if these ads were interesting, relevant, and engaging. Since then TrueView has come a long way, expanding to mobile, becoming more measurable with Brand Lift, and enabling more interactivity with features like app downloads seamlessly within your ad.

Today, we’re making TrueView an even better creative canvas for brands with greater interactivity and more accurate accounting of audience engagement.

Greater interactivity through cards
One of the top requests from brands has been to make videos more interactive, particularly on mobile. So we’re introducing cards for TrueView in-stream ads, a new feature which will make video ads a more engaging, interactive experience for viewers across all screens.

An evolution of our annotations feature, cards launched to videos on YouTube last month providing a more beautiful and seamless way to inform viewers about other videos, playlists, and more. Now with cards coming to TrueView in-stream ads, you can share more information about your brand, related videos and playlists, and soon link to your website directly from your TrueView video ad. For information about how to enable cards in your campaigns, visit our Help Center.

Cards panel on mobile in portrait

Expanded card panel on desktop

Unlike free-form annotations on ads, cards work on mobile and will come to connected TVs, so you can create one ad and run it across all screens. This means viewers will always know how to get more info about video ads, regardless of how they’re watching YouTube.

Cards also provide a platform to bring you additional features that make TrueView a more actionable format. Throughout this year, we’ll roll out specialized cards that cater to specific use cases, a process we started with TrueView for app promotion last year.

Optimizing for viewer actions
TrueView is built on the notion that when someone chooses to watch your video, they have stronger intent and interest for your brand. For that reason, we only count a view when someone shows an intent to watch. Now, with greater interactivity signals, we can go a step further and enable you to to optimize for viewer actions. In addition to counting a view when someone watches an ad, we will also count a view when viewers click on a card or other elements of your in-stream creative, as we believe this is a strong indication that they are interested and engaged. We’ll bill for these click interactions, similar to what we currently do for TrueView for app promotion campaigns. As always, we’ll only charge when a view is counted and will bill for either the full view or click (but not both). This change will roll out to all TrueView in-stream ads in May.

New click behavior for in-stream
To ensure you only pay for deliberate clicks on your video ads, we’re also changing where you can click on in-stream ads. Formerly clicking anywhere on the player would register a click; now only clicks to cards or CTAs, the video header, companion banner or a link at the bottom of the player will count as a click.
Phew! That was a lot of info. TrueView has always been focused on user choice – and we believe these new features will make video ads even more engaging. We’re excited to continue to evolve our TrueView platform in 2015 and beyond.

To take a stroll down memory lane for TrueView’s fifth anniversary, check out our Agency blog post.

Posted by
Avi Fein, Product Manager, AdWords for video
JR Futrell, Product Manager, YouTube Ads
Jim Habig, Product Marketing Manager, YouTube Ads

Our phones are filled with apps that have fast become lifestyle companions. We have apps for playing games, watching TV, working out, tracking our finances and more. Since the average smartphone user already has 36 apps on his or her phone, it’s more important than ever for developers to find effective ways to reach and keep users. That’s why Google is continuing to enhance our app promotion and re-engagement offerings to help developers reach the right users at the right time.

Starting today, we’re expanding where you can promote your Android apps on the Google Display Network. You can now reach people not only when they’re using other apps, but also when they’re engaging with the 2M publisher websites across the Google Display Network (GDN). With the simple click of a button, we'll automatically extend your app install ads from the AdMob in-app network (which reaches 650K active apps) to the mobile GDN network. For early testers, this increased install volume by 28% on average while keeping cost-per-installs steady.1
Extend your app install ads to the mobile GDN

We’re also continuing to improve our in-app ad formats across Android and iOS to provide users with richer, more engaging content. You can now reach them with Video App Promo Ads - immersive, interstitial video ads that highlight how users will interact with your app.
Video App Promo Ad

GREE International, the global maker of popular free-to-play mobile games like Knights & Dragons and War of Nations, has utilized a variety of new app promotion features to grow performance.

Kenneth Mei, Associate Marketing Manager for user acquisition, says, “We chose Google because of the scale of their app network. By auto-extending our targeting to include the mobile Google Display Network, we increased app installs on our test campaign by 81%. From testing new ad formats, we also found that in-app video has a 10% higher install rate and 40% lower cost-per-install compared to our internal benchmark data on other ad formats. We’re excited to continue working with Google as we explore new targeting and ad formats for app promotion.”

While installs are the first step to securing engagement with your app, we recognize that not all installs are created equal. To help you reach these high-value users for Android, we are introducing Conversion Optimizer for in-app buyers. By using paid app install and in-app purchase insights from the Google Play app store, this new feature helps optimize bids for in-app buyers to maximize value from your installs.

How this differs from other bidding strategies for apps:
Fiksu, a leading mobile marketing and technology company, has generated greater value from gaming app installs by using this new bidding strategy.

"By leveraging Google's Conversion Optimizer for in-app buyers, we were able to triple one client's install-to-purchase conversion rate after users download the app and decrease cost per purchaser by 61%,” says Ken Kehoe, Performance Labs Analyst at Fiksu. “The ROI using this strategy has been incredible, maximizing the lifetime value of users, and it's something we're excited to extend to more of our clients."

The extension of app install campaigns to the mobile GDN, new engaging ad formats, and automated bidding for in-app buyers are just a few new features to help you promote your apps. To learn more about Google’s app promotion products, visit our Help Center and read our best practices for driving app installs.

Posted by Sissie Hsiao, Director of Product Management, Mobile Display Ads

1Internal Google Data, March 2015

Last year, we introduced product ratings on Product Listing Ads in the US to help consumers make better purchase decisions when shopping online. Since the initial launch, we’ve been working to bring product ratings to more countries, and this week we launched in the UK, France and Germany.

Product ratings appear in the form of stars and review counts on Product Listing Ads across, and their equivalents in the UK, France and Germany. This 5-star rating system represents aggregated review data for the product, compiled from multiple sources including merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites and users.
Product ratings for juicers, as indicated by stars and total review counts
Product ratings help consumers make better purchase decisions before they click, driving more qualified traffic to participating merchants. Since the US launch in July 2014, we’ve seen an average click-through rate increase of five percent on Product Listing Ads with product ratings.

Product ratings also help merchants differentiate their Product Listing Ads. Dave Abbott, Vice President of Online Marketing for The Home Depot, says, “customers look for product validation through reviews and ratings. Providing this info is valuable to our customers and provides The Home Depot with a competitive advantage on Google.”

How to enable product ratings on your Product Listing Ads

Product ratings are available to merchants targeting their Product Listing Ads to the US, UK, France or Germany. Merchants must share all of their product review content with Google, either directly or through an approved third-party aggregator, in order to show product ratings.

If you would like to enable product ratings on your Product Listing Ads, please start the process of submitting your review content to us by completing our product ratings form. Our team will then reach out to you with details on next steps.

Product ratings are one of several extensions we may show with Product Listing Ads, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that we’ll always show ratings. We’re also working to expand product ratings to more countries this year, so please stay tuned.

Posted by Archana Kannan, Product Manager, Google Shopping

The customer is always right, at least that’s what they say.

If you believe in that, then stores must acknowledge the reality that shoppers really, really like their smartphones. They carry and shop with them wherever they go—to the bathroom, to competitor stores, everywhere. What’s a retailer to do?

You have three options: Do nothing, resist change, or embrace it. Macy’s Inc, the world’s largest fashion retailer, chose the latter. Since Mar. 2010, their stock is up 240%. How did they do it?

Their success is due in part to fusing their “multi-channel” approach into a singularly focused omni-channel one. “We used to have two separate, siloed budgets,” explains Serena Potter, group vice president of digital media strategy at Macy’s. “Now we really only have one marketing budget. We look at what’s the best way to spend that; whether it’s digital or offline, and focus on how they work together to deliver the most sales and the best customer experience.”

In other words, Macy’s Inc and others like them no longer compete with their online or offline selves. They don’t fear showrooming, get anxious when a smartphone shopper consults her phone in the aisle, or fret when a consumer jumps from one channel to another mid-sale. They view these realities as new opportunities; new moments to interact with consumers and increase loyalty.

There’s upside in doing so. Smartphone or omni-channel shoppers have 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel shoppers, according to a recent study from market researcher IDC.1 How can retailers understand and convert these higher value shoppers?

The answer: Omni-measurement. In order to realize success, retailers must increase their understanding of omni-shopper behavior. Omni-measurement not only does this, but it enables mouth-watering marketing programs, including predictive campaigns, site-to-store funnelling (and vice versa), enhanced purchase frequency, and automated messaging and product recommendations.

Leading retailers such as Macy’s, Office Depot, PetSmart, Sprint and others are increasingly turning to Google measurement tools such as Adometry, DoubleClick, and AdWords Store Visits, and Store Transactions for a complete view of consumer behavior across all paths, channels, and beyond just clicks.

For example, Sprint discovered that paid search ads drove five in-store sales for each online sale.2 Knowing that, the company increased their focus and deepened their understanding of the role smartphones play in the purchasing journey. With AdWords Store Visits enabled, Sprint achieved a 31% higher visit rate3 from mobile search ad clicks versus desktop search ad clicks. This knowledge was instrumental in helping the carrier create a more seamless online to in-store experience recently.

“Over the last several years, we’ve really thought about how that experience when a consumer gets into the store can continue to build on that bridge we’ve made in digital,” says Evan Conway, Sprint’s vice president of digital. “We’ve looked at the transactions and conversations that our sales associates were already having with the consumer and then we tried to build the tools, technology, and content to make the in-store experience better.”

PetSmart, too, was better able to omni-measure foot traffic using Store Visits reporting in AdWords. For them, the data revealed that 10–18% of all search ad clicks resulted in an in-store visit within 30 days.4

"As a national retailer building a sophisticated local marketing strategy, PetSmart has seen tremendous value in Store Visits data. This data has helped solve an incomplete puzzle,” says Phil Bowman, PetSmart's executive vice president. “Historically, we’ve relied on numerous approximations to tell us how our search ads were driving store visits, but this data has validated our estimates. It helps us understand the full picture of where our customers are going after clicking a search ad."

When they’re not helping retailers understand how online ads impact in-store behavior, Google tools help merchandisers promote nearby inventory online, another crucial demand of omni-shoppers. In other words, retailers can now “think local” in ways that have never been done before.

For instance, Office Depot achieved a 3X return on digital marketing spend after switching to Local Inventory Ads.5 "Now, we are able to reach customers when they search for a product," says Christine Buscarino, vice president of ecommerce marketing for Office Depot, Inc. “Local inventory ads provide us with a unique opportunity to offer products that customers are searching for and assure them there is inventory in a nearby store."
Of course, these are just a few examples of leading retailers embracing the omni-channel movement to meet the expectations of today’s consumer. And they’re doing it with the help of Google ad formats and measurement tools.

Learn more about how leading retailers are connecting with today’s connected consumer here.

Posted by Emily Eberhard Pereira, Head of Shopping Solutions Marketing.

1IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2015 Predictions. November 2014
2Sprint Internal Data
3AdWords Store Visits Data
4AdWords Store Visits Data
5AdWords Store Visits Data
6IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2015 Predictions. November 2014

When it comes to brick and mortar stores, misinformation runs rampant.

For instance, search results only send consumers to e-commerce sites, retailers lose the shopper who checks a phone in store, and buyers only visit stores to transact or showroom. Those are three common myths debunked in Digital’s Impact on In-Store Shopping1, new research conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands for Google, based upon purchasing behaviors of more than 6,000 smartphone shoppers.

Although 95% of all retail transactions still occur in-store2, smartphones have quickly become consumer’s favorite and most trusted “shopping assistant.” These handy devices reduce buyers’ remorse, raise consumer expectations for getting more accurate and faster information from store associates, and present new challenges for hungry retailers.

For instance:
  • 68% of shoppers surveyed said they were happier with store purchases when they did research online before buying, according to those surveyed
  • 71% expect clerks to know or find product information more quickly now, due to smartphones
  • 46% of smartphone shoppers browse the retailer’s own site or app in-store

But when paired with a consistent shopping experience — specifically mobile optimized, locally relevant, and personalized search results — these same “shopping assistants” can become as powerful to sellers as they are to buyers, the research found.

In fact, they’ve helped double the value of in store visit,3 increase customer satisfaction (69% of consumers are more satisfied with purchases when they get to touch or feel a product in-store), and they’ve given retailers more opportunities to build brand loyalty (51% said they used digital devices to look for additional information after buying).

For instance, Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores saw a 16% higher clickthrough rate and 122% increase in visits to its stores after adopting Local Inventory Ads, which lets retailers display nearby store inventory to online shoppers.4 “Local inventory ads fit perfectly into our strategy of using digital tools to drive store traffic,” says David Buckley, chief marketing officer at Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. “If people are searching for a product on their phones, there is nothing more targeted than serving that item with a picture, description, and price while letting the customers know exactly how far they are located from the product.”

The technology also helps Sears extend the reach of its advertising budget, driving $8 of in store sales for each dollar invested online.5 “When we compared our most recent performance of local inventory ads to offline media typically used to drive store sales, such as a recent broadcast television campaign,” Buckley explains, “local inventory ads returned in-store sales at more than 5X the rate of tv advertising for each dollar spent.6
Similarly, Staples saw their store visit and ad click thru rates increase by 33% and 29% respectively, after indicating nearby stock in their search listings.

“Local Inventory Ads are another way Staples helps customers shop whenever and however they want through our omnichannel,” said Ellen Comley, vice president, integrated media, Staples, Inc. “We know that more and more customers are doing research online before buying, and local inventory ads make it easier for us to reach small businesses and ensure we’re providing the most relevant offers.”

Of course, those are just a few examples. In addition to identifying other ways smartphones are changing modern shopping, Digital’s Impact on In-Store Shopping outlines several steps retailers can take to optimize their online presence for smartphones:

5 things brick and mortar stores should do now
  1. Use Local Inventory Ads to promote nearby stock to interested buyers, including availability of complementary and recommended products
  2. Be sure to list store locations, hours, and phone numbers in online search ads
  3. Optimize online presence for mobile viewing and buying, including search results, website, app, and mobile ads to engage consumers while in store
  4. Localize and integrate custom offers and product recommendations to smartphone shoppers that disclose their location
  5. Take an omni-channel approach to marketing and measurement by combining your online and physical efforts into one (see also: Macy’s Inc)
There’s no denying that smartphone shoppers are looking at competing offers while in store, the research concludes. But a greater percentage of shoppers look to search engine results and a retailer’s own sites and apps first. To take advantage, retailers must acknowledge, react to, and consolidate their multi-channel approach into a “mobile first” omni-channel one.

Learn more about how top retailers are using digital to connect people with their stores here.

Posted by Emily Eberhard Pereira, Head of Shopping Solutions Marketing

1Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, October 2014
2eMarketer: Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth, April 2014
3Shoppertrak 2014 foot traffic and Mastercard SpendPulse transaction Data  2010 thru 2014
4AdWords Store Visits Data. 2015
5Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Data. 2015
6Sear’s Hometown and Outlet Stores Data. 2015