Back in April, Google announced Mul­ti-Chan­nel Fun­nels in Google Ana­lyt­ics, which would allow for web­site own­ers to gain insight into the dig­i­tal paths tak­en by their cus­tomers pri­or to con­vert­ing.  This is the first major step towards get­ting a bet­ter under­stand­ing of a user’s online pur­chase process and iden­ti­fy­ing the impact of dif­fer­ent online chan­nels on a user’s behav­ior.

While Mul­ti-Chan­nel Fun­nels will be great for more in depth analy­sis of online cus­tomers, it also begs the ques­tion as to when com­pa­nies will be able to extend this analy­sis to offline chan­nels and offline con­ver­sions.  Google Wal­let, which was announced by Google last week, might just be the key to final­ly inte­grat­ing these two worlds.

Google Wal­let is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­nol­o­gy that is designed to elim­i­nate the need for peo­ple to car­ry around a phys­i­cal wal­let.

If you own an Android phone (it’s cur­rent­ly only avail­able for the Nexus S 4G by Google on Sprint, but expand­ed sup­port is planned), you’ll be able to vir­tu­al­ly store your plas­tic cards using the Google Wal­let Appli­ca­tion and pay via near field com­mu­ni­ca­tion.  It will also allow for cus­tomers to redeem Google Offers at par­tic­i­pat­ing stores.

There’s no ques­tion that offline inter­ac­tions impact online behav­ior and vice ver­sa, but cur­rent­ly, there’s no easy way to track both sets of inter­ac­tions in a cohe­sive man­ner.  Imag­ine if even­tu­al­ly, Google Wal­let allows a com­pa­ny to see how a pro­mo­tion on its home page, a post on its blog, and a tweet via its Twit­ter account influ­ences the arti­cle of cloth­ing, elec­tri­cal appli­ance, or maybe even the entree a cus­tomer pur­chas­es at that company’s brick and mor­tar loca­tion?  The depth of analy­sis would not only be greater, but it would be far more infor­ma­tive.

Envi­sion a sit­u­a­tion in which a major elec­tron­ics store is pro­mot­ing a tele­vi­sion sale for Black Fri­day.  They’re run­ning ads through AdWords and dis­play adver­tis­ing through AdSense. They also have a large pro­mo­tion on the home­page of their site and have spent the last two weeks adver­tis­ing the sale on their Face­book Page and on their Twit­ter account.

Cur­rent­ly, a cus­tomer might print out a coupon from their site and bring it into the store to redeem the offer, but the com­pa­ny would have no way of know­ing all the dif­fer­ent online touch points that led him or her to doing so.  Fur­ther­more, what if that cus­tomer pur­chas­es more than just the tele­vi­sion?  Were there oth­er online chan­nels that influ­enced those behav­iors?  That kind of data is very chal­leng­ing to not only gath­er right now, but also to inte­grate into an easy to digest report.   Google Wal­let and Mul­ti-Chan­nel Fun­nels might just allow for such analy­sis to take place.

There are some  com­pa­nies that cur­rent­ly have no trou­ble mea­sur­ing the ROI of their web­sites.  There are oth­er com­pa­nies how­ev­er, that strug­gle to tie online mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives with their over­all suc­cess­es.  Google Wal­let might not be the tech­nol­o­gy to ulti­mate­ly bridge this gap and bring this kind of analy­sis to fruition, but with the intro­duc­tion of Mul­ti-Chan­nel Fun­nels, the inte­gra­tion will take place soon enough.  It’s now just a mat­ter of when.