Google Shares Black Friday Location Data for Marketers

Search Giant Opening Up Data for Marketers, Shoppers to See How Busy Stores Are

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Google has been releasing a host of updates and features for marketers and consumers leading up to the holiday season.

Its latest offering will give advertisers a better idea of what's driving people into their stores. On Tuesday the search giant said it will start showing advertisers which keywords people searched for before clicking on the brand's search ad and eventually ended up in one of the brand's brick-and-mortar locations. The information is aggregated and anonymized, so advertisers won't be able to see which individuals clicked on their ads before entering a store.

But Google will give those same advertisers a better idea of when people are in their stores by now reporting store-visit figures by month, week, day and hour. That means a consumer-electronics retailer might be able to see that the people visiting their stores on a weekday morning are typically looking for phone chargers because that's what a lot of those visitors searched for before coming in, and the retailer might decide to stock its phone chargers further back in a store at those times in order to get the people to see more of the store's products before checking out.

Where consumers shop, according to Google.
Where consumers shop, according to Google. Credit: Google

Google has been adapting to consumer trends as more of them move away from desktop and toward mobile devices and apps. Last week, the company introduced a number of design changes to Google Shopping that are meant to cater to a mobile-first audience, including an app-like layout, faster browsing and information such as inventory levels for specific items at nearby retailers.

The company is also competing with Facebook, which recently announced it will provide marketers with more information about its users who are near their stores, among other things.

Last year, 133.7 million consumers shopped in stores and online during Thanksgiving weekend, down 5% from 2013, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Total spending for the weekend fell 11% to $50.9 billion, according to the survey.

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