Where are we with the Drive-to-store?

by bold-lichterman

Be careful with your searches on Google, they may well tempt you during your next window shopping! As stated in a post posted on Google +, “Google Now” could soon alert the Internet user when he passes near a product about which he has already inquired online … and for which he therefore has every chance of falling for it. An R&D approach that is part of a fundamental e-marketing trend: the drive-to-store.

Get a mobile customer

To put it simply, it is about taking advantage of the Internet and geolocation to attract the prospect to the point of sale. According to a BVA survey carried out in September for Mappy, 78% of individuals who sometimes buy in local shops sometimes do a search on the Internet beforehand: this is the famous ROPO (Research online, Purchase offline). Using Big data for marketing purposes, this analysis of sociological, chronological and geographical data is a boon for the seller since it allows him to apply a personalized marketing strategy thanks to a particularly refined customer knowledge.

The whole challenge of the drive-to-store is to succeed in capturing the customer on the move. “This is the part of electronic commerce that is currently growing the most,” assures Jacques Nantel, professor of marketing at HEC Montreal.

woman uses a smartphone

“Web-to-store strategies will accelerate: customers’ expectations are becoming almost basic. It is also a strong axis of differentiation compared to pure players ”assured Julien Chenaf, digital manager of CIO Sephora Emeap in a study entitled“ Web-to-store: Challenges and opportunities for physical commerce in the digital age ”carried out by BVA for Solocal Group in September 2013.

“A major change has been taking place over the past year on the drive-to-store: there is an awareness by advertisers of the value of existing solutions. (…) This shows our turnover, which has tripled between 2012 and 2013, ”says Philippe Cantet, co-founder of Shopmium, without revealing the Parisian start-up’s net income over the past year. “The drive-to-store market is growing slowly. It implies a fairly profound change of mindset which requires reviewing the balance between brands and retailers, ”describes Pierre-Antoine Durgeat, CEO of Adventori.

Follow the cross-channel customer

There are two kinds of drive-to-store : either we analyze and then act on the behavior of a customer via the Internet by seeing e-commerce as a prescriber (web-to-store), either we act via our smartphone to attract it to the point of sale (mobile-to-store). Two digital levers whose objective is always the same as that of the good old prospectus: to increase consumer engagement. “The challenge today is to follow the customer 360, that is to say both on the different channels, in order to best choreograph the marketing campaign” describes Benoît Enée, Solutions Consulting Director within the Experian marketing agency.

For independent traders, drive-to-store solutions can be an alternative to creating an e-commerce site. Indeed, ensuring the creation, maintenance and referencing of a website requires a significant investment. They often have more interest in turning to intermediaries who will allow them to acquire the desired visibility without taking care of all the technical part. Several possibilities are available to them: use an Amazon-type marketplace, a shared solution (eg: lalibrairie.com), a crossroads audience site, etc.

Store locator and product locator

Different drive-to-store applications are emerging. Thanks to geolocation, two services are developing in particular: on the one hand, the store locator, which makes it possible to locate the nearest store and improve the visibility of a brand’s stores in search engines; on the other hand, the product locator: which allows the Internet user to discover, in a given geographical area, the stores with the desired product. The Step in company offers, for example, location-based advertising in stores. And Google is also investing in geolocation: the American firm has just bought Waze, an interface for doing geolocated advertising.

Another possibility: to record the behavior of consumers by providing them with the Internet. The Canadian marketing professor Jacques Nantel thus tells how the American chain of electronics established in Canada Best Buy gives free access to wi-fi in its premises in order to follow the digital activity of its customers. “The browsing data collected by the merchant is relayed to an intermediary (Google, for example), which will sell advertisements targeted to advertisers according to the keywords searched on the Internet” he says.

Counter with casual shoesThe drive-to-store can also aim to attract the web audience to the store. This is what the Celio clothing brand does: when a customer makes a purchase on the brand’s website, the order confirmation email he receives includes a barcode that allows them to benefit from a voucher. in-store discount. “It’s a system that allows us both to follow our customers and to encourage them to visit our stores” underlined Ernault Ferrando, former Director of Project Coordination and Methods – CIO at Célio, in thestudy carried out by BVA for Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes).

Geofencing, the trendy geo-marketing tool

In terms of mobile-to-store, the continuity of experience enabled by mobile is unprecedented. The fact of benefiting from a personalized interaction in real time with the customer is called the “Geofencing”. It is about sending personalized promotional offers to the holders of a loyalty card thanks to the mobile. This is what companies like Plyce, Shopkick or even Shopmium.

Established in March 2010 Plyce is a sMobile and web service that allows you to indicate the products available in store, with an offer of discount coupons. The consumer can, wherever he is, select a point of sale close to him. Depending on the price, the availability of the product and the reductions offered to him (immediately deducted from his invoice when he goes to checkout) he chooses which product he wishes to buy. This is called “Click and Collect”, the objective of which is to allow the Internet user to reserve a product before going to the store. For example, the men’s clothing brand Célio undertakes to confirm the availability of the product within half an hour “so that the consumer is always in a dynamic of impulse buying”, says Thomas Le Guyader, expert. cross-channel at Evoke, the web-to-store company that designed this service. “During the 2000s, it was the great madness of the store locator on the sites, today the fashion is at Click and Collect, it is also one of the rare devices whose return on investment is immediately measurable. . The notion of network is not dissociated from the notion of brand, ”considers Pierre-Antoine Durgeat.

There is also the application of discount coupons C-Wallet and Fourquare for business… Service thanks to which the e-merchant can follow the “check-ins” that his target performs near the points of sale and then send tailor-made promotions, at the opportune moment when the latter is geographically close to his store . The mobile becomes the privileged point of contact for capturing the attention of a 360 customer (cross-channel), which is generally much more profitable than a single-channel customer. “These smartphone marketing applications have been possible for 3 to 4 years thanks to the QR code and in a quantifiable way for two years” estimates Jacques Nantel.

The catchment area goes digital

These various applications of drive-to-store change the very conception of catchment areas. We speak of a “digital catchment area”. “The catchment area adopts a variable geometry, depending on the profiling and no longer just the geographical position” describes Jacques Nantel. In an area of ​​1 square km, the advertiser will be able to know who is there regularly (thanks to the fixed IP address of smartphones) and to determine a precise consumption profile and therefore personalized offers. Poster "SALES" (shopping special offer advertising marketing)

The possibilities offered by the drive-to-store are therefore legion and constantly evolving. If the marketing gain seems undeniable, this e-marketing technology is not free. Going into the web-to-store or mobile-to-store “can represent costs without necessarily there being a real return on investment in the short term, considers Jacques Nantel. But anyway, following this movement is a way of continuing to have a stronghold ”warnsl. “We are still far from having the ability to measure the overall profitability of drive-to-store devices, but we must not forget that for a brand, having a web-to-store strategy also allows social peace with its distribution network: it is a way of showing that there is no longer any competition between physical stores and the Internet, ”recalls the CEO of Adventori.

To go further / Frenchweb has already spoken about it:

>> [Web-to-store] Socloz raises 1.5 million euros to industrialize its in-store redirection offer

>> [Web to store] WeAreTheShops raises 300,000 euros