Web-to-store and Drive-to-store: 6 techniques to effectively generate traffic at the point of sale
Despite its constant growth each year, in 2015 e-commerce represented only 6% of retail sales(1), when the outlets made more than 90% of total sales and therefore the greatest source of profit. In-store traffic is therefore a major issue for brands. But how do you continue to attract customers to the point of sale? There are some tools for this that are as effective as they are simple to set up for advertisers.
The two fundamentals of web-to-store
Search engines play a major role in the customer journey. If a prospect intends to make an act of buying locally, he will make very specific requests. City, district, district: the criteria are precise and the answer given must also be. Techniques search marketing and store locators, provide the customer with what he is looking for at the time of his request: geotargeted and adapted information.
1. Search marketing boosts local presence on search engines
With the rise of geolocation services, local search has become a key issue in digital marketing. To optimize their ranking in local results, several solutions are available to advertisers: on the one hand, work on natural referencing by enriching their Google My Business page, their content linked to the brand’s contact details or the quality of the links incoming.
On the other hand, paid referencing makes it possible to insert very effective call-to-action thanks to the privileged position of sponsored ads. By setting up a paid campaign with geolocation criteria, it is possible to target a specific audience. A SEA (sponsored links) campaign is therefore able to provide in a few lines the information a prospect needs (name, address, point of sale phone number) to convert.
2. Store locators provide a personalized user experience in local searches
A complementary building block to search marketing, the store locator offers search engines a geolocated response to a user’s request. The store locator can take several forms: personalized pages on branded sites as well as in Google Map and Google My Business pages. Thanks to this technique, local searches no longer bring up generic information but specific information (timetables, address, contacts) to the point of sale identified as being closest to the Internet user.
Four direct marketing tools for push drive-to-store operations
Without waiting for prospects or customers to perform a local search on their own, advertisers can set up direct marketing strategies. Carried out taking into account a variety of parameters (point of sale catchment area, demographic criteria), these operations aim to contact a very targeted audience to promote one-off and exclusive events.
1. A quality contact with a geo-targeted and personalized email campaign
Email is a good entry point into customer relations, but often fails due to its lack of personalization and therefore has low open rates. However, 96% of Internet users consult their main mailbox at least once a day (2). Enriched thanks to the knowledge of profiles, geotargeted email is able to adapt its content according to the recipients and their geographical location. Geotargeted email campaigns are thus sent to consumers located around the selected point of sale, which makes the call-to-action very effective. By playing on the proximity of the sign to the recipient, geotargeted email becomes relevant and useful.
2. The ROIistic potential of geotargeted SMS campaigns
With 95% read rate, SMS is a secure means that guarantees contact with a customer. In a drive-to-store approach, the implementation of an SMS campaign is one of the most ROIistic levers. Thanks to a geographic targeting refined according to the catchment area of the store, the SMS makes it possible to communicate on exclusive promotions and to invite the customer to an event in store. After applying the specific demographic criteria to the campaign, the SMS is able to precisely reach the brand’s target customers.
3. Postal mail brings a qualitative relational dimension
Postal mail completes a drive-to-store campaign by bringing a qualitative dimension to the levers that can be activated. In the same way as SMS or emails, the mail is sent to a geotargeted audience, located in the catchment area of the brand. This mail then contains promotional offers for local stores that the prospect has a strong chance of frequenting or knowing. The great strength of this lever lies in its average response rate which rises – in the United States, in 2015 – to 3.7% (3). It effectively complements digital and can be used during drive-to-store operations as well as retargeting. Following information sought online a few days previously, it is possible to send a mail to the customer or prospect to respond to his request.
4. Send the right message at the right time with geofencing
58% of French people owned a smartphone in 2015 compared to 46% in 2014(4). This adoption of new technologies by the population makes it possible to develop innovative drive-to-store techniques, such as geofencing. This lever consists for companies, after having defined a virtual geographical area around their points of sale, to send an SMS notification to prospects when they enter this area. This sending is done with the agreement of the customers, obtained upstream, to be geolocated, informed of current promotions and to receive commercial offers. Geofencing aims to deliver the right message at the right time and is an effective marketing lever to attract customers during off-peak periods of a business, by offering them exclusive offers.
Quick techniques for traders to learn
The major advantage of drive-to-store levers is their ease of use. Once a brand identifies a promotion or an event on which it wishes to communicate, all that remains is to specify the audience and send the messages.
(1) Fevad – INSEE, 2015.
(2) SNCD study (National Union of Direct Communication), 2015
(3) Article 1
Philippe Le Meau is Director of Digital Business Development at ADLPerformance & CEO of Activis (ADLPerformance).