For many, online marketing is a tool to drive online sales, improve customer engagement and boost brand equity. But what many small business owners may not realize is that online marketing can play a significant role in driving in-store sales too.
French clothing brand Petit Bateau discovered more about just how customer online interaction drive its customers in-store purchases by combining in-store data with information from Google Analytics.
In a recent case study shared on the Google Analytics Solutions blog, the Google Analytics team explains:
“Petit Bateau customers in France can shop in 153 physical stores as well as on Petit-bateau.fr. Users log into the website which makes it possible to later match the traffic of logged-in users with subsequent in-store transactions made with a loyalty card.”
How Online Marketing Drives In-store Sales
By comparing the data, the company found 44 percent of in-store buyers had visited the site within seven days before making their purchases. About 9 percent of in-store buyers had visited the site on the same day as their purchase in the physical shop.
Further data analysis revealed the online-to-offline effect was particularly strong on mobile. To give an example, mobile visitors converted within stores at an 11 percent higher rate than desktop visitors.
Moreover, mobile visitors’ in-store spend was 8 percent greater than desktop visitors.
What Businesses Can Learn from Petit Bateau
Using Google Analytics to measure online-to-offline purchase behavior paid off for Petit Bateau as it could better understand the impact of online marketing on in-store sales and target customers who research products online. The company was able to use the data to reassess AdWords return on ad spend, which proved to be six times greater with in-store sales incorporated.
A deeper understanding of its in-store transactions is enabling the company to optimize its digital marketing programs and make more informed decisions about its media budget allocation.
For small businesses, understanding how to make the right decisions on marketing budget allocation is an important lesson to be learned. It becomes all the more important for them because they don’t have a lot to spend.
What Petit Bateau has also done really well is shifting budgets from offline to online marketing, with a significant focus on driving new customers through generic search terms. The company has increased its investment on Google Search by 60 percent year-over-year.
Small businesses can take a page from Petit Bateau’s book and learn how focusing on online marketing drives in-store sales and lead to desired results.
What’s more mobile bids have gone up by 20 percent, and mobile’s share of search budget has reached 43 percent, above the current share of mobile traffic. Meanwhile internal communications is now helping store teams to understand digital’s role in the customer journey and to appreciate the growing importance of promoting browsing, digital shopping, buying and comparing.
Petit Bateau is a French fashion house famous for creating high quality, stylish clothing and undergarments. Founded in 1893, the company operates an online store and an international network of 400 shops.
Mobile Shopper Photo via Shutterstock
I’m a huge fan of Amazon Prime, but there are still things you need today and there are things I need to touch, feel & look at before buying. I go online to see if a store has the items I want to see and how their prices compare. Then I go to the store with the best price and if everything is to my liking I’ll buy right there. Online won’t replace stores.