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.