To engage omni-channel shoppers, you first need to understand who they are.
At a basic level, this means knowing important factors about the customer such as gender, demographic, location, website browsing habits, search habits, and where they shop in-store. But that’s not enough.
Top retailers understand their customer in even greater detail. They measure the influence of all touchpoints on a customer’s journey to purchase—online, offline, and across devices—using sophisticated measurement systems. These attribution platforms track the customer’s journey through each channel—TV, display, search, email, and direct mail—providing a holistic view of how a valuable customer makes a purchase.
Using sophisticated measurement, leading retailers can answer important questions about their ideal customer. For example, does she shop across a mix of online and offline channels before making a purchase? Is she likely to visit a retailer’s mobile site? Has her purchase frequency increased as a result of a specific marketing campaign? Is mobile assisting her in-store purchase? What marketing channel or ad type would be most helpful in drawing her into a nearby store? Where can a retailer find more customers like her?
Armed with better measurement insights, retailers can, for example, better use online channels to draw shoppers into their stores. “One in four who click on mobile search ads end up in a store, so we’ve realized that the in-store experience needs to continue to build on that bridge we've made in digital,” says Evan Conway, Sprint’s vice president of digital.
And Sprint was able to understand the full, cross-channel value of its search advertising as well: Sprint’s own data shows that for every sale that paid search ads generate online, paid search ads drive five in-store sales.
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and PetSmart, for example, are using Google AdWords’ Store Visits to see whether their ads are driving in-store visits and purchases. By measuring valuable actions beyond clicks—phone calls, cross-device conversions, and even store visits—retailers can see how their digital efforts are affecting in-store sales. “We’ve always known that our digital efforts had an impact on store traffic, but it was difficult to quantify. These tools have helped us both with our ad formats and in our evaluation of their impact,” says David Buckley, chief marketing officer of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. PetSmart, too, found that search ads had a direct impact on store visits. According to Google’s Store Visits metric in AdWords, 10–18% of all clicks on its search ads resulted in an in-store visit within 30 days..
Industry Director of Retail, Google