Google Shares Location, Search Data Store Traffic Patterns For The First Time

Google has pulled data from Google Maps showing where people tend to shop on Black Friday. The data, shared for the first time, analyzes store traffic pattern by looking at mobile location history data in aggregate, as well as search trends. The data aims to help advertisers tie paid-search ad keyword groups into in-store sales.

The data, collected from users who are willing to share their location, suggests that Black Friday store traffic tends to peak in the afternoon for most stores, typically between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Most Black Friday shoppers want electronics. The data shows the highest foot traffic is in stores selling electronics and cell phones.

In fact, foot traffic to these stores scales twice as high on Black Friday compared with other weekends during the holiday season, and traffic for cell phone stores it is 1.6 times as high.



The detailed view of offline measurement with the ability to break out store visits by keyword or ad groups and the ability to view visits by day, week, or month to better inform bidding and campaign strategy can help advertisers understand the keywords or ad groups driving the most store visits, per Elizabeth Fabiani, product marketing manager at Google Shopping.

Since some stores now open on Thanksgiving Day, Google also sees an increase in foot traffic on Thursday evening. Department stores see their peak traffic on Thanksgiving evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Shopping malls, superstores and discount stores, and department stores have the highest store traffic on the Saturday before Christmas, rather than the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Dollar stores see the biggest peak in store traffic on Christmas Eve.

While Google lists store hours and directions in Maps, searching online for information on in-stock items can save time. Many stores now serve data on in-store availability of products in mobile search results.

Consumers also research, browse, and compare products while in a store. This year 82% of smartphone users did just that. If this year's shopping trend builds on last year's, mobile searches per user will rise more than the 11% in electronics stores and 8% in department stores on Black Friday, compared to other weekends during the holiday season.

IBM reported on Tuesday that mobile traffic on Monday accounted for 46.6% of all online traffic, up 15.2% compared with 2014. Mobile sales also grew, with 25.9% of all online sales coming from mobile devices, up 27.8% compared with last year. 

Smartphones accounted for 36% of all online traffic, more than three times the rate of tablets at 10.6%. Smartphones also surpassed tablets in sales, driving 13.85 of online sales versus tablets at 12.1%. 

Desktop had the highest average order value at $135.38, IBM estimates. The average order value for mobile and desktop shopper combined on Monday rose 0.25% to $129.30, compared with the weekend but down 0.25% compared with the year-ago date. 

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