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Finding The Right Fit With Drive To Store

3 MINUTE READ | September 5, 2017

Finding The Right Fit With Drive To Store

As online shopping becomes more and more convenient, retailers are struggling to keep brick and mortar locations open. With 64% of U.S. Households having at least one Amazon Prime member, the desire to spend your day walking around the mall shopping is lessening. How can retailers fight back against the online shopping trend and bring the “mall day” visit back?

In essence, Drive to Store is a marketing strategy that aims to use online media to contribute to offline dollars. While the traditional goal of digital advertising is to drive e-commerce traffic and sales for the brand, DTS views marketing on a holistic level and looks to grow all parts of the business to keep the brand’s physical and e-commerce presence at the top the consumer’s mind. While tactics can be used across various channels, DTS faces many challenges as marketers debate its position in the marketing mix.

The main challenge that DTS faces is online to offline attribution. Even in a digital-first world, it is still difficult to appropriately measure in-store traffic tied to a specific digital program. Marketers depend heavily on the data that a user’s cellphone can pass back and with cell phone privacy policies becoming stricter through the years, there has been a growing disconnect. Another issue DTS faces is the accuracy of location targeting in malls. While location targeting partners drive great performance for standalone brick and mortar retailers, mall retailers don’t see similar performance. The ability to differentiate a store being on the first floor compared to the second floor is a capability that has yet to be built and has created a barrier for DTS initiatives to be used by many brands.

Drive to Store tactics vary across channels but all aim to provide the right customer experience at the right place and the right time. With Facebook’s launch of store visits, social media marketers are now able to measure the impact of their local awareness ads to offline actions. Google Shopping has helped bridge the online to offline consumer experience through Local Inventory Ads.  Local Inventory ads show next to traditional PLA’s and allows Google to show results for specific items that are available near the user. Users with a local intent can easily find information about items available locally, and with Google’s in-store visits metric, marketers are able to measure the effects of their digital program. Display media can execute dynamic creative and messaging based on the proximity a user is to a store, helping to build offline intent and confidently locate the user. Partnering with an attribution platform eliminates the lack of measurement because marketers are able to utilize SDK’s within a background running app on a mobile device to correctly define a visit. These tactics are just the beginning of what marketers are able to utilize to help drive visits to the store.

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Now you ask yourself: Is Drive To Store worth the investment? The decision is very dependent on client goals, but every marketer should test DTS on a smaller scale at first to analyze performance. Marketers must also closely work with the brand to build a test market and compare to their test markets to see if there has been an increase in-store traffic and sales. With the holiday season approaching, all marketers should be looking into DTS initiatives because those last months of the year have the most foot traffic. Will you stay a step ahead?

Posted by Derek Mireles

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