It’s no big secret: Intent data that is captured while a person is searching online is among the most effective targeting data out there. With search retargeting, advertisers can target prospects with display ads based on the searches they perform across the web.
That’s a tried-and-true digital tactic that’s been proven to drive prospects to online shopping carts. But let’s not forget that Americans spend 64% of their shopping budget in brick-and-mortar stores, and 36% online (souce: BigCommerce). Here’s the conundrum: Even with the majority of shopping happening at physical stores, competition from online channels is still sending brick-and-mortar retail into crisis mode. And it’s not just the smaller shops. It seems hardly a news cycle goes by without another headline about a major retailer announcing plans to shut down physical locations.
But the truth is that brick-and-mortars can and should take advantage of the proven ability of digital strategies to pull in shoppers. So with the holiday season upon us, what are some mobile-centric strategies that physical stores can leverage to increase their foot traffic?
THE MOBILE OPPORTUNITY: CAPTURE SHOPPERS ON THE MOVE
Have you noticed how many people are on their phones while they are out and about? It turns out they aren’t just texting, reading the news and playing games. Mobile devices have become an indispensable component of the shopping experience. And it’s a trend that converts. Deloitte reports that 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores is influenced by digital. According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches then result in a purchase.
With all this mobile phone activity, the amount of available location data is growing. At Simpli.fi, we now see over 500 million unique location data points a day. Whereas in the past, the gold standard data was search data, website data and behavioral data, now location-based data is the hot data source. As marketers move to act on this data, as we wrote about in an earlier blog, the ad spend is increasingly shifting to mobile.
So how can physical stores take advantage of these trends during the holiday crunch time? Consider leveraging Geo-Fencing to target consumers based on in-store visits.
REACH PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS
People who have visited your brick-and-mortar location have already shown interest in your products. They are ripe for promotional and loyalty offers via mobile ads. You can stay top of mind, promote seasonal items, sales and events, and even use your rewards program to deepen the customer relationship by Geo-Fencing your store and targeting customers based on the recency, or timing, of their visit.
REACH NEW CUSTOMERS
You can also use Geo-Fencing to focus on consumers who’ve visited one of your competitor’s locations. Arguably, this can be the smartest move of all. These consumers have shown interest in a similar product. Now you get a chance to draw them away from your competitor while increasing your own market share. By matching prices, highlighting your differentiating factors or launching promotional offers, you can increase awareness for your company while growing your customer base.
Mobile marketing is a relatively new channel, and many marketers are still struggling to realize its full potential. One top challenge with many in-market solutions: precision—both in terms of place and time.
Simpli.fi’s geo-targeting solution takes location-based marketing to a higher realm. The ability to precisely draw a geo-fence with custom shapes and sizes means your ads will only reach those shoppers who have physically entered the area within a chosen radius of a given target.
Maybe the location you choose is a shopping mall, your brick-and-mortar store, or a competitor’s store. Maybe it’s an entire zip code, an event, or an airport. Whatever boundary you choose, this kind of location-based marketing can be a highly effective way to serve ads to the people within a geo-fence—or up to 30 days later.
Timing is everything in advertising and this is especially true during the specific months of the holiday shopping season when most retailers offer promotions and discounts to bring in shoppers. With Simpli.fi’s unstructured data model, we retain the date and time stamp associated with every piece of data. That means we can time your ads to reach the right audience in the moment that matters.
MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE
For many of us, the holiday season is usually here and gone in the blink of an eye. As a retailer, it’s often just as quick which makes it increasingly important to understand what’s working and why.
Simpli.fi offers clients a way to measure the increase in foot traffic to a location, such as their brick-and-mortor store. By tracing a virtual Conversion Zone around the physical location, advertisers can measure not only who visited a location after seeing a mobile ad but also report on the verified lift in foot traffic, based on an intuitive baseline. We call this Geo-Conversion Lift. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for tracking online-to-offline conversions.
Bottom line, if you are already retargeting people who visit you online and do not convert, great job. Keep it up. But also think about adding a Geo-Fencing tactic to focus on those customers who visit your physical location and see what kind of results you can drive for the holiday season