18th September '12

Driving In-Store Traffic with Paid Search Advertising

by Lizzy Martin

Recent studies are increasingly showing a link between the number of consumers who click on paid search ads to get product information, and those who buy the item at a brick-and-mortar store. This growing trend is a relatively inexpensive way that your business can use online tools to drive in-store traffic, while measuring the ROI of your efforts.

Typically, paid search campaigns are used to drive traffic to online stores. However, they can also be used as a powerful channel for driving traffic, and ultimately sales to, brick-and-mortar locations. The most valuable aspect of this strategy though is its ability to accurately track performance and measure the ROI.

RevTrax, a marketing analytics platform, released a two-year study in January 2012 on the impact of paid search ads on in-store sales.[1] Findings revealed that while e-commerce is growing very rapidly, it still remains less than 5 percent of total retail sales, meaning the real impact of paid search is offline. Key findings include:

  • Paid search drives $6 in offline sales for every $1 in sales online.

  • Approximately 9% of clicks on a paid search ad generated an in-store sale, with some merchants seeing up to 26% of clicks on a paid search ad generating an in-store sale.

The Paid Search Process – A Consumer Perspective

According to a March report from Forrester Research, a large amount of offline sales are influenced by online research. In today’s multi-channel world, consumers search online, visit stores to view the products, return to the internet to compare prices or consumer reviews and continue to complete purchases in-store, online or via a call center. During the online search, consumers are often using search as the starting point in their purchase process. Paid Search acts as the administrator of easy retrieval for information consumers are searching online.

Creating a paid search campaign should always begin with a strategy. If increasing store traffic is your goal, include in your strategy the best ways to achieve this. Continue focusing on building a pool of unique customers throughout the extension of your campaign!


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