In a bid to measure the success rate of digital advertising campaigns, Google has devised a store-sales measurement tool, which can monitor what people buy in physical (brick-and-mortar) stores after clicking on their digital advertisements. The partnership between Google and credit/debit card companies helps to connect the dots between in-store purchases and ad-clicks.
The transaction details of credit/debit cards are matched with online ad clicks and thus Google can automatically inform a vendor the moment their online ads convert into sales at a brick-and-mortar store. The success of the tool will have far reaching consequences in the realm of digital marketing. Merchants will be eventually persuaded to augment their digital marketing budgets and improve their online marketing strategies.
Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy described the new tracking tool as “secure and privacy safe.” They are making use of “double-blind” encryption in order to protect the privacy of the shoppers. A patent-pending complex mathematical formula converts the customer’s details like location, purchase information, name among others into strings of numbers. This makes it impossible for Google to discern the identity of the store shopper and for the trader to know the details of the Google user.
Nevertheless, the data which will be collected by Google can have colossal privacy implications. As the data can be an inviting target for hackers given the fact that only few data points are sufficient to identify an individual from credit/debit card details.
There is some good news for the people who find it creepy when an advertisement keeps following you throughout the internet because Google gives its users the option to control the type of ads they would like to see and also limit the company’s tracking.
Source: MIT Technology Review