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Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

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# 1
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This community has been so helpful to me so far, I want to ask you for some more advice.

We design and sell sofas to the UK.

 

Most people buy over the phone or in the showroom. This creates a conversion tracking problem which I am trying to solve.

 

My solution is to offer the customer something  he would like after he completes the sale like a voucher for Tesco or Walmart or something. To claim his voucher all he has to do is visit the Tesco Voucher Page on my website.

 

I will attempt to use this page to record the sale and I need help.

 

  1. Should I record the Gross Sale amount like an e-commerce, or should I just record the Sale Profit? The profit would help me a lot more in my CPA costs but generally e-commerce websites record Gross Sale amounts.
  2. Would both these options require E-commerce Tracking? Is another option simply to record a goal value based on estimated profit per average sale and not bother sending any amount at all to Google AdWords?
  3. Would it be wise to check for _GET['gclid'] the first time an ad is clicked, set a cookie that will tell me it is an adwords visit and then when the customer visits the Tesco Voucher Page and the system can tell he is not from AdWords, I'll at least know one conversion will be missing from the AdWords stats.
  4. Does the whole thing sound like a good idea or am I missing something?

Thanks very much!

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Accepted by topic author Zevi S
September 2015

Re: Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

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# 2
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Hi Zevi, great questions all.  Tracking "offline" conversions has always been challenging, and the "voucher" system is a well-used method of attempting to capture these sales.

 

For phone sales there are solutions out there that can help track these automatically, the easiest of which is Google call forwarding numbers.  Alternatively you can go all the way and use a company like IfByPhone who will actually track sales right back to the Account.

 

For store conversions, it's tougher.  Typically the way I've seen other vouchers well used is to allow the visitor to print off something they can present in store when they make their purchase (5% off, a free gift, etc.).  When the voucher is presented, the sales assistant should take it from the customer and record on it the value of the sale.  At the end of the week/month, you collect all the vouchers and use them to create an offline conversion import to AdWords.

 

You will need the glcid on the voucher as this is required for offline import, so you'll need to collect this and dynamically generate it on the voucher.  You can check for $_GET['gclid'] but bear in mind many of your customers may return to your site more than once and may not come back via an Ad so you should also generate a cookie of your own when they first visit via an Ad and include the gclid in that cookie.  So, your test for displaying the voucher will be for the existence of a gclid now, or the existence of your cookie.  For phone conversions you may also want to generate a "user-friendly" code they can quote, which you can then use to look up the associated gclid (probably from an online database you'll populate when you create the cookie).

 

Gross or net?  ROAS should ideally be measured from Net conversion values as you then have an instant view of true return.  Most ecommerce packages record gross figures primarily because they're not capable of recording net.  Your problem is likely to be that you'll then have a combination of figures - online sales will probably be recording gross conversion values while offline ones will record Net.  This may not be too much of an issue if the majority of your sales are offline - it's down to you to decide how to handle this.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Zevi S
September 2015

Re: Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Zevi, great questions all.  Tracking "offline" conversions has always been challenging, and the "voucher" system is a well-used method of attempting to capture these sales.

 

For phone sales there are solutions out there that can help track these automatically, the easiest of which is Google call forwarding numbers.  Alternatively you can go all the way and use a company like IfByPhone who will actually track sales right back to the Account.

 

For store conversions, it's tougher.  Typically the way I've seen other vouchers well used is to allow the visitor to print off something they can present in store when they make their purchase (5% off, a free gift, etc.).  When the voucher is presented, the sales assistant should take it from the customer and record on it the value of the sale.  At the end of the week/month, you collect all the vouchers and use them to create an offline conversion import to AdWords.

 

You will need the glcid on the voucher as this is required for offline import, so you'll need to collect this and dynamically generate it on the voucher.  You can check for $_GET['gclid'] but bear in mind many of your customers may return to your site more than once and may not come back via an Ad so you should also generate a cookie of your own when they first visit via an Ad and include the gclid in that cookie.  So, your test for displaying the voucher will be for the existence of a gclid now, or the existence of your cookie.  For phone conversions you may also want to generate a "user-friendly" code they can quote, which you can then use to look up the associated gclid (probably from an online database you'll populate when you create the cookie).

 

Gross or net?  ROAS should ideally be measured from Net conversion values as you then have an instant view of true return.  Most ecommerce packages record gross figures primarily because they're not capable of recording net.  Your problem is likely to be that you'll then have a combination of figures - online sales will probably be recording gross conversion values while offline ones will record Net.  This may not be too much of an issue if the majority of your sales are offline - it's down to you to decide how to handle this.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

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# 3
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Jon,

I cant tell you how much you just helped me.

It's a clever idea to have them claim the voucher at the time of the ad click and not after the sale. This way I'll only offer it to Ad Clickers based on the Cookie or gclid GET parameter.

50% of my sales are made straight in the showroom, and 49% over the phone. Only 1% is online, so the standard e-commerce gross sale tracking shouldnt be a problem really.

I am going to record the profits as you suggest as i might as well seeing that I have the data.

Should I set up the voucher page as a standard conversion with a value or with full e-commerce tracking, both using the profit as the amount?

Re: Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

I'd be inclined to record the voucher page as a conversion and give it a nominal value.  These "micro-conversions" can be very useful for tuning an Account that converts primarily offline (or for any Account, for that matter) since although they're not a sale in themselves, they can give a good indication of "better" and "poorer" Keywords.  For example, if one Keyword causes 20 voucher views in a week and another only 2, it's pretty clear which one is likely to be more valuable in the long term.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Tracking Offline Sales, Profit or Gross

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# 5
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Right, as you say the voucher will inform me which keywords are converting.

But say we sell leather sofas and fabric sofas. And I am trying to determine what kind of keywords people used when looking for leather sofas and what kind they used when looking for fabric sofas. (Besides the obvious "Leather" and "Fabric").

As I write it occurs to me that I can upload the leather and fabric sales separately, and wait a few hours to see which keywords now have conversions, and then upload the other half and check those. That way I'll keep myself an Excel file with the corresponding keyword and product type sold.

But I was wondering if by installing an e-commerce as well on my voucher tracking page, would I be able to track the transaction and product details in Analytics back to the AdWords keyword?