High customer expectations mean that it’s becoming ever more important for marketers to be able to optimise every touchpoint along the customer journey, and to deliver seamless brand messaging.
In addition, marketers are under mounting pressure to attribute sales to all the pre-purchase online and offline research that customers engage in. But how can we link up the offline world when it’s so difficult to capture in the first place?
Luckily there are a number of sophisticated techniques that allow us to capture offline data and attribute it correctly at the point-of-sale. Here’s an overview of five of them.
QR codes are unique barcodes that get added to product packaging, poster ads, and various in-store print media, and are a great way to track how offline browsing behavior and marketing activity is affecting your online sales. It also encourages showroomers to buy from you online, and not from one of your competitors.
Give customers browsing in-store an incentive to scan the QR code on their mobile: for example, you could offer free delivery for a product they are interested in, with the QR code linking them directly to the specific product page on your website.
Coupons and discount codes allow retailers to advertise online for a discount on in-store sales, and track the results of that online-to-offline campaign. It works by creating unique coupon codes for each of your PPC ads, which offer some kind of incentive if the user buys in-store. Each code that consequently becomes an offline sale can then be linked back to the ad to calculate your ROI.
When using this method, make sure the discount codes are memorable so that customers can easily use them offline. For larger campaigns, it’s also good practice to keep track of your custom discount codes in a spreadsheet, so that you don’t forget where you used particular codes.
Integrating the contact centre into your multichannel strategy means relying on call tracking software to generate unique numbers online. Dynamic phone numbers are generated for individual users looking at your website and clicking your PPC ads, and allow calls to be linked back to previous online interaction. For example, you can see what keywords they entered, what ads and clicks inspired the call, as well as what they did after the call (if they don’t purchase over the phone).
According to a report from ResponseTap, a call tracking provider, this is one of the most difficult offline channels to integrate, as 52 percent of marketers say they don’t have a complete view of how their online and offline marketing activity is driving phone sales.
Loyalty or members’ schemes are an ideal strategy for marketers who want to attribute an in-store sale to that user’s previous online interactions with the company.
Once a customer is signed up to the scheme, or has downloaded the app, their unique ID gets scanned at the point-of-sale. This then gets tracked back to previous actions taken on both the website and the app (provided the user is logged in). If you are using SaaS-based loyalty platforms, like Sweet Tooth, the sale can also be added to a user’s account via POS integrations, making the purchasing experience much more efficient.
Beacons allow you to target customers on their mobile as soon as they walk into your brick-and-mortar store. When they move within reach (standard beacons have a range of 70 meters), you can communicate with customers via Bluetooth on their smartphone. Not only does this mean purchasing incentives can be sent to the shopper in real time, but it also allows marketers to measure what percentage of their online customer base actually walks through their doors.
House of Fraser, for example, introduced beacon-equipped mannequins that activated as soon as a customer walked within 50 metres. Push notifications were then sent out to their mobile with information about the clothes the mannequin was wearing, the price, and links to specific product pages on the website.