As we shared last month, Google’s Online to Store research shows that online marketing campaigns are effective in significantly increasing in-store sales. In other words, digital ads influence shopping decisions made in physical store aisles as well as those made in front of computer screens.

This week, we’ll take a closer look at the individual Online to Store study results of technology company Hewlett-Packard (HP). HP collaborated with Google and Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) to quantify the impact of online search ads on in-store purchases. They conducted a four-week long study in which users were exposed to HP search ads co-branded with a leading national electronics retailer. Would a significant number of users who clicked on a co-branded HP/retailer ad after searching on keywords such as “hp laptop” and “laptop computer” then purchase a product at the physical retail location, generating incremental in-store sales?

The answer, the study showed, was yes. The online campaign resulted in a 530% overall return on advertising spend (ROAS) for computers, with a 1,090% ROAS in the top 25% of markets based on specific store attributes for the computing category. Furthermore, HP found that ads for higher-end models and ads in more prominent positions on the searchresults page were correlated with an even higher increase in physical store sales. This suggests that some users who conduct research online may be more comfortable purchasing higher-end items at a local store, and also highlights the importance of ad rank in influencing users.

To learn more about this and other studies, visit Google’s new Think Insights site.

Posted by Emily Parker, The Google Tech Team