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How to Track Foot-Traffic Purchases Using Ad Attribution

There isn't much that compares to the challenge of understanding your buyers' preferences and implementing them into your campaign strategies to better reach and resonate with your audience.

Gaining better insight into what is driving foot traffic to your stores will make all the difference in this area — this is where foot-traffic attribution, as an extension of ad attribution, comes into play and makes all the difference for your campaigns. 

According to Think With Google, despite personalized experiences being so important to consumers, retailers are investing less than 1% of their revenue on personalization, while best-in-class retailers are investing 30% more. This is significant for businesses looking to jump on board with marketing attribution because it's yet to be maximized by all of your competition. 

With that being said, you shouldn't wait any longer because Google also reports that 76% of all marketers say they currently have or will have, in the next 12 months, the capability to use marketing attribution. So the sooner you get started, the better.

Here's everything you need to know about tracking foot traffic using ad attribution.


Even with the massive increase in e-commerce buying in the past year, retail is far from dead. More people are still running to their favorite retail stores to shop in person over online shopping. In fact, Rethink Retail reports that although there has been an unmistakable increase in digital sales, e-commerce only accounts for 14% of all sales — further proving retail is far from being pushed into the past.

That's not to say in-person retail shouldn't continue to adapt to technological advancements that threaten to overtake it. After all, we all know better than anything that innovation and adjusting to the new market are essential to your business's survival. For retail, this means discussing the future of brick-n-mortar stores, as many did at The National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2021 virtual conference.

According to PCMag, despite many expecting to discuss "long-term doom," there were actually more resilient topics highlighted at the conference. Not only did the NRF Chairman, Mike George, say that "the majority of consumers (61%) depended on physical stores being open to meet the shopping needs of their families," but the "retail sector employs 32 million people and supports 52 million American jobs." Thus, making it an important part of our business market and livelihoods. 

The key component of their survival? The ability for retailers to adapt with innovation, create a great customer journey, and improve the shopping experience at a variety of touchpoints, including brick-and-mortar.

With that being said, brands with brick-and-mortar locations must be able to measure what is driving these in-person purchases, making foot-traffic attribution an important aspect of ad attribution as a whole.

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Foot-traffic attribution replaces imperfect strategies (i.e., post-purchase surveys, in-store questionnaires, etc.) with data and science that show exactly how your target was impacted by an ad. This innovation takes the guesswork out of advertising by backing your results with data that is undeniably factual.

As Tim O'Reilly, founder, CEO, and chairman of O'Reilly Media, once said, "What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done." And that's exactly what foot-traffic attribution (and ad attribution as a whole) will do for you and your customers.

An explanation of Strategus' foot-traffic attribution tool

Using GPS services, Strategus' foot-traffic attribution tool tracks users who have watched your CTV ad on a device before shopping at your brick-and-mortar location. This gives you insight into the influence your ads actually have on viewers, without the underlying questions of who is entering your store as happenstance without seeing the ad and who was actually inspired to visit because your ad was successful. 

To get an idea of what you can expect from a foot-traffic attribution tool in action, it does the following for your brand:

  • Targets your audience strategically through OTT/CTV platforms — not only are OTT/CTV platforms exactly where you need to be to reach the majority of your target audience, but implementing an omnichannel experience ensures your customer's experience with your brand at all touchpoints is seamless, consistent, and positive. Attribution then wraps it all together with a bow to impact future campaigns by measuring ad successes and failures. In fact, they are all connected to help you better identify and understand the effectiveness of your ads, so you can adjust accordingly. 
  • Puts legal GPS data to work — know when your target audience visits your brick-and-mortar location after viewing the ad by tracking legal GPS data on their devices. This gives you more insight into who and how many viewers were inspired by your ad to take action (and who wasn't). 
    • In addition, this data reduces the challenges faced with other feedback like surveys and questionnaires because you no longer have to hope for a response to hear back — their action after watching your video is the response. After all, actions speak louder than words.
  • Optimizes your campaign accordingly — once you know more about how much foot traffic your ad is actually encouraging, it's time to adjust your campaign accordingly. This can come in the form of better targeting, more omnichannel follow-ups, or better ads themselves. Either way, the data you collect will be able to give you the information you need to ensure future ads are more attuned to your audience and what resonates best with them.


Foot-traffic attribution is only one of eight customizable components of Strategus' Attribution Suite. It is, by all means, an essential part of every successful marketing attribution strategy, as it tracks and measures the success of your hard work — but it isn't all ad attribution has to offer. There are also attributions for:

  • Website visits — how many people visited your website after viewing a CTV ad to completion?
  • Online purchases — how many people made an e-commerce purchase of your product or service after viewing a CTV ad?
  • Amazon purchases — how many people made a purchase via your Amazon storefront after viewing a CTV ad?
  • After-ad influence — Was a viewer moved to research your product or service after viewing a CTV ad?
  • Offline conversions — Was a viewer moved to call your store, visit your store, or make an in-person purchase after viewing a CTV ad?
  • Brand lift/brand awareness — Was a viewer able to remember your brand and associate it with your product or service in the days following CTV ad exposure?

Together, you are able to compile the most complete, accurate attribution report possible.

Learn more about foot-traffic attribution and ad attribution by contacting Strategus with any questions and following our blog for more insight and resources.


Expert Guidance for CTV Advertising

Andy Dixon is a seasoned Content Writing Specialist at Strategus, renowned for his expertise in creating engaging and impactful digital content. With over a decade of experience in content creation, Andy has honed his skills in a variety of niches, ranging from technology and marketing to education.

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