Now that 2019 is just behind us, it’s time to look back at one of the biggest trends of the year in digital marketing in Belgium: Omnichannel & Local strategies. As an agency, we indeed noticed that clients were more and more willing to jump on the O2O (Online to Offline) boat and to start advertising via digital channels in order to drive actions in physical location (such as purchases in a brick-and-mortar shop).
Of course, this has only been made possible thanks to the relatively recent technological developments which allowed to track and measure the impact of our digital campaigns on physical shop visits. We already wrote a couple of articles on the omnichannel developments from Google & Facebook side (some of them are older than 2019, but a good refresher never hurts), as well as a few cases to help out to concretely see how to leverage this information. If you’re interested in knowing more about it, you can find them here:
- This first article will guide you through the basic concept of Store Visits & Offline Conversions
- The second one analyse the launch of Store Visits in Google Analytics and explain why it was an important release: Why Google leads Omnichannel Measurement ?
- The third article is this time focus on Facebook’s measurement of store visits & sales and shows how to setup a local personalised campaign as well: Driving store visits and in-store sales via Facebook Store Visit campaigns
- Now that the basic concepts are clear, you can go through the following article to understand how to leverage these different metrics: How to leverage store visits for your business?
- A first case-study about Ikea is the next one on the list. It explains how we leveraged these omni-channel measurement to deliver better online & offline performances: Omni-channel measurement in retail - A case study by IKEA Belgium
- This second case study explores the Local Strategy we developed with Atol les Opticiens in order to generate more visibility and store visits to local shops, by giving independent shop owners the possibility to invest digitally for their own shop specifically: Local Strategy: The impact of online campaigns on offline revenues - Atol les Opticiens Case Study
With 2020 around the corner, now seems like a perfect timing for doing a quick recap of why the whole omnichannel story matters, what it could concretely mean for your business and how to activate it for 2020 depending on your business type.
Why does all of this matter?
If you are a retailer, there is a high chance your biggest end goal is to generate as much sales as possible (while being profitable). To do so, you probably invest quite a lot in marketing & communication, but the absence of reliable, objective measurement makes it hard to assess whether all these investments are truly helping you to reach that objective.
The results of online investments on online sales is much less of a problem as this is easily measurable by deploying tags and pixels. But what about all the offline sales? Well, it is actually possible to measure how many store visits were generated thanks to your campaigns. By applying a simple formula, it is thus rather easy to have a pretty good idea of how much offline revenue is driven by your online campaigns:
Offline Revenue = # Store visits * In-store conversion rate * Avg Order value
Combining the offline revenue generated with your online revenue (if any), you can then easily compute your omnichannel revenue and ROI / ROAS (Return on Ad Spend):
Omni-channel Revenue = Offline Revenue + Online Revenue
Omni-channel ROAS = Omni-channel Revenue / Total marketing investment
If the fact of basing yourself on the average in-store conversion rate & order value does not seem precise enough for you, you can also go the extra mile and measure the actual “store sales” by collecting the email addresses of people buying in your physical stores, and matching them with logged-in people identified by their account, clicking on your ads online. More information about store visits and store sales can be found via the following link.
In conclusion, we can fairly say that the whole omnichannel story is of the highest importance for today’s retailers as it allows them to measure their campaign’s on- and offline results , and optimize their investments accordingly.
What are Local Strategies?
A Local Strategy could be defined as follows:
A Local Strategy consists in the development of a plan, whose purpose is to encourage people to take desirable actions regarding local stores (purchase, appointments, etc)
Why are Local Strategies important?
According to Google, investing in Local strategies delivers 80% more store visitation than investing in a classic online media strategy. It is thus very important to develop, next to your classic national media strategy, a Local Strategy too if you want to drive more visits to your stores.
How can I develop a Local Strategy for my Business?
Firstly, you’ll have to identify your Local Strategy need in function of your business. Two situations should be distinguished:
- You are a retailer and own multiple salepoints
- You are a franchise / cooperative with independent people managing the salespoint.
In the first case, Local Strategies will help you to generate more store visits as a whole (as this is the case for the Ikea case you can read here) but also to possibly give an extra boost to your shops which are having a hard time to perform well. To do so, you can launch specific campaigns targeting only a certain radius around your shops locations, and optimize them to deliver as much “store visits” (in google terms) as possible.
In the second case, Local Strategies will give you the opportunity to propose to your independent salespoint to invest extra money specifically for their own shop, in order to improve their online visibility. Once the campaign is done, you’ll be able to send them the results and concretely show them how many “store visits” & revenue were generated thanks to their investments. It is thus a very nice way to incite them to invest more (which is good for your Brand), in an efficient and transparent way (which is great for both parties). You can read more about this case with the Atol case.
Secondly, once you have identified the opportunity & objective which fits your business, it is time to actually develop your plan. You’ll have to select the right channels, the right campaign types, the right budget, the right radius around your shop location and the right targeting. The ideal strategy will of course depend on the type of business, and we can definitely help you in this journey. If you are looking for a general recommendation, we would advise you to start with the most advanced partners in the domain - i.e. Google & Facebook - and try some new channels as you evolve in maturity on the topic. It’ll eventually come down to test what works for your Business and what doesn't, and adjust your strategy along the way.
Digital has always been helping your physical location to perform better. But with the relatively recent measurement & optimization development, it is now possible to objectivize them and build a strategy accordingly. If physical store sales matters for your business, you can simply not ignore the local factor anymore. Building Smart Local Strategies next to your classical National Strategy will allow you to support stores which are having a harder time, and more generally to unlock lots of additional sales for your Business.
As the amount of opportunities to develop your Local Strategy arises, I’ll simply conclude this article by quoting one of my co-worker, Frédéric Pallela, in his Ikea case-article: “Don’t miss this train”.