How to Measure the Impact of Mobile on Your Store Conversions

By — 03.15.16

Mobile Retail In Store

To prepare for the huge impact that mobile would have on driving both digital and storefront sales this past holiday season, we covered several ways retailers can use mobile ads to boost foot traffic in nearby stores and then quantify the value of their investment. And the extra work that retailers put into their mobile strategies was worth it as consumers responded like never before. According to the ICSC Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends Study, 56% of holiday shoppers researched products before they even entered the store, noting they arrived better informed and ready to purchase. In addition, nearly one-third (32%) of holiday shoppers used the “buy online, pickup in store” feature–with 69 percent of these shoppers purchasing additional items in the store of collection and 36 percent making another purchase in an adjacent store.

These figures demonstrate the critical role digital ads play in driving storefront sales. If you’re a multichannel retailer who still isn’t measuring this cross-channel impact, you may be misallocating ad spend and missing out on key revenue opportunities. While some retailers use home grown solutions like loyalty programs and digital coupons, the most common way to measure the impact of digital ads is through Google’s In-Store Estimates and data onboarding vendors. Google’s option is free, accurate and simple, so let’s start there.

Using Google’s In-Store Estimates

This metric estimates the number of users who visited a store up to 30 days, customizable in weekly increments, after they clicked on a search ad. The metric is reported as a segment of Estimated Total Conversions in AdWords. It’s used to assist retailers in tying together paid search data with subsequent in-store visits to determine the revenue impact of a digital ad. You can read all about how Google measures this, and how the process works here, however, our analysis has shown that it is a fair and conservative estimation that retailers can feel confident using.

Once you have you’re In-Store metric from AdWords, you can plug it into a simple equation along with your in-store conversion rate (CVR) and average order value (AOV) to determine estimated store revenue. Your store teams will have these metrics however, if you have any trouble getting accurate in-store CVR or AOV, there are industry estimates that you can use.  Here is the formula to use:

Store visitors * in-store CVR * in-store AOV = estimated store revenue

Using data onboarding providers

Data onboarding comes with a cost and will require you to upload your customer data files to their platform. The end result is similar in that you will use this data to determine your estimated store revenue, however this option connects the actual purchase to the click, as it’s based on CRM data which is matched up against a large network of partners. The process isn’t complicated, but it will require some set up initially. Again, you can read more in depth about this solution here, but to quickly summarize, these data partners will anonymously match the email addresses from your data against a database of addressable cookies (online devices and digital IDs used by a network of partners). They can then identify which individuals were exposed to a digital ad and can attribute the offline value back to the search query or keyword that triggered the original ad. The data onboarding vendor will upload your observed conversions and sales data into a tool of your choice, such as Adlucent’s Deep Search® or Google AdWords, at which point you can then extrapolate an estimate of store revenue based on your match rate. The match rate will be provided to you from the vendor, and is unique to each retailer. You can use your match rate data to determine an accurate in-store CVR and AOV.

Many retailers choose to utilize both of these options, and they are both good at helping retailers measure which online ads are sourcing brick and mortar sales. You can use this data to properly allocate ad spend and drive even greater revenue. This information can also be used to optimize particular queries or keywords, and should be incorporated into online ROI and budget allocation decisions.

How are you currently measuring mobile’s impact on stores? Share with us here!


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