It’s no secret that online sales are trending upward. Does anyone even shop in brick and mortar stores anymore? The answer is yes, despite the phenomenon of online shopping in recent years. Let’s talk about what you need to do if you have a physical store as well as an online marketplace.
Online marketplaces linked with digital marketing tools make it easy to attribute sales to various ads placed on social media or coupons embedded in promotional emails. When a user clicks the ad or CTA button and then makes a purchase, that’s a pretty straightforward connection that we can make. This allows your marketing team to note the success of a particular ad and build on what’s working.
So... this brings us to the question at hand. You have a brick and mortar store and need to know if your digital marketing tools have at all influenced the purchases of these real-life customers. Because if a user sees your ad, and then goes into your store and makes a purchase there, how do you track these offline sales and use them to inform and enhance your digital marketing strategy?
Here are a few usual items used to track offline to online sales:
Location Specific Promo Codes / Short Links
This narrows down your location, but more importantly will take you back to the original ad or email that gave this specific customer the promo code in the first place.
Geo Targeting in Display Networks Based on Mobile ID's
Geotargeting is when you determine the location of a user and deliver different content to them based on that information. This can be done through companies like Revtrax, but there are lots of providers here, and FourSquare is probably best.
Physical Payment Terminal (i.e. Stripe)
If you use a POS system such as Stripe or Square, you can go forth collecting email addresses and then tracking to email campaigns. This is also helpful to our offline-online tracking through the set up of online accounts for your customers. This way you can take that stored information and cross-reference emails or ads using tools we’ll discuss later.
Receipt Based Coupon Redemption (i.e. Shopmium) or Digital Coupon Redemption at Physical Location (i.e. Quotient)
Shopmium is an example of a company that gives incentives to customers to digitize their offline transactions. Anything that brings in the offline purchase to the online environment is useful.
On-Site Email Collection
If there’s no other way too, you can always ask the customer how they heard about your store. Just saying!
To expand on the list, this is where a marketing team would really excel (RevTrax, Shopmium, and Quotient would be 3rd party solutions FYI, you still likely need a marketing team). Pretty sure we’re all well aware, maybe thoroughly creeped out, but grateful for the data that Google and Facebook has in their hands. We can utilize these to enhance the consumer experience, which, remember, is the goal of our products, services, and marketing. Here’s some more info using the tools of the internet to get those pesky offline transactions onto your database for digital marketing purposes:
Tracking Offline Sales For Google Ads
If your account meets certain criteria with your Google My Business (and you link them), it's possible to track store visits by audiences who have clicked your ads. Google estimates store visits by looking at the phone's location history to determine whether someone who clicked on an ad ended up visiting their store.
What you can do is build an audience of store visitors who have clicked the ads, then retarget them with Display Ads. We can then show specific ads and set specific bids to these audiences (who have gone through the clicked ad + visited store journey) and measure their Conversions, Conv. Rate, etc., the same as we would for just those who stayed online.
Tracking Offline Sales For Facebook
A software Facebook has, called Offline Conversions, allows you to upload your sales data to Facebook and match transactions that occur in 'real life' (offline) with people who previously saw or clicked on your ads. Facebook doesn’t need too much data to find the person who you’re trying to log, just a name will work - although there are other items that will satisfy it, such as a phone number or email address. This means you can serve ads for an "electronics store" and track your ROI by uploading your POS (point of sale) data to Facebook.
So, you would need to upload the in store customer data either manually or through partner integration depending on what CRM you use and see if any of the campaigns the marketing team runs match people that have seen ads prior.
It’s key to work with the right data providers in order to close the loop on the full customer journey, from offline to online sales. At Firon, we research and select the best providers for location data, consistent customer profiles, and more, so that we can create a data driven marketing campaign for your brand. Any questions? Feel free to reach out!