The world is rapidly advancing towards an all-out internet oriented customer support system and with more than a billion smartphones out there; bulk of the search is being done on mobile devices now. Far more than desktop based searches. Customers research and form their opinion on the go and more often then naught they always research before the actual purchase. Almost all businesses now necessarily need an online presence to attract customers. An online presence that is search engine optimized so as to achieve higher search engine results page rankings (SERPs).
According to Emarketer, even today customers prefer to carry out their purchases in actual stores (almost 90%) in comparison to online stores. Therefore, what’s important is that organizations / business needs to know how to get the most out of their digital marketing campaigns so as to boost their in-store and retail sales. Generally, business can’t or just don’t know how to relate these two variables. Following below are some of the key parameters and metrics on how these can be correlated and organically optimized to achieve maximum benefits.
Google ‘Store Visits’ metric. Direct correlation between online and offline marketing had never been actually relaized. In-store sales had always been associated with traditional marketing techniques. However, now Google has formulated methods to measure the efficiency as well as the relation between digital marketing compaigns and actual offline (in-store) sales. Thru paid AdWords, google measures the number of clicks that the ad has received. It also measures the customer visits to the actual store thru the ‘location’ feature of smartphones. This cross referencing generates a ‘store visit’ score which the advertiser can convert to estimate their return of investments. Organically optimized Ads are a pre-requisite to achieve maximum benefit.
iProspect Case Study. To financially understand the google ‘store visit’ feature, a case study was conducted by iProspect in December, 2015. The aim of the study was to generate in-store traffic / sales thru organic online marketing (i.e. AdWords) and thus achieve higher Return on Investment (ROI). It was found that almost 2 out of the 5 people that click on the ad, actually visit the store. It was further concluded that about $46 in-store positive cash flow was being generated for every dollar being spent on digital marketing which came out to be thrice more than the online sales.
Getting the most out of AdWords. Despite the AdWords ‘store visit’ metric, most of the businesses are unable to positively or favourably correlate digital marketing with in-store sales. First of all highly organic and Search Engine Optimized ads are extremely necessary as only then will they be able to get higher in SERPs and thus be able to generate greater online traffic. Secondly synchronized google accounts and location add-ons are to be used. And lastly appropriate conversion formulae developed according to individual businesses are required to understand and to actually relate the ‘store visit’ values with the in-store sales. Other digital marketing techniques also include Facebook and Snapchat ads etc. and they are also gradually being developed to garner an ever increasing online traffic.
The ‘Store Visit’ feature primarily relies on the location feature of smartphones. Therefore, it might not be 100% accurate however, google algorithm works on 95% statistically confident data to develop this metric. Coupled with the research by iProspect, it is clearly demonstrated that digital marketing plays a pivotal role in boosting even the in-store sales provided appropriate metric conversion formulae are developed along with organic, target oriented and SEO ads.