2020 Holiday Season Shopping During COVID-19
New research highlights why driving customers in-store is more important now than ever
In the age of COVID-19 and the current retail environment, it may seem like marketing investments that drive customers to physical stores is a lower priority. In reality, as stores begin to re-open and we establish a “new normal” of shopping in-person, securing customer interest and loyalty within physical retail stores ahead of this year’s holiday shopping season is more important now than ever before.
Marketers are already well aware that in-store visits lead to in-store sales. Now, new research from GroundTruth commissioned by Numerator shows in-store visits can have a positive impact on online sales, too. They can even result in higher annual spenders for your business.
For the first time, we’re witnessing the true value of driving in-store visits for your overall omnichannel marketing strategy.
How Physical Stores Power Holiday Shopping Online in 2020
After spring and summer shopping was affected by shelter-in-place orders, quarantining, and social distancing, retailers are eagerly waiting to see what will happen this holiday season. It’s the battle of ecommerce vs retail 2020, and the arena is packed with spectators.
As reported by MarTech Today, shoppers may be more conscious of how much they spend – both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, and less impulsive than in previous years. At the same time, they yearn for the sense of normalcy that comes from buying in person.
One trend we’re sure to see for the holiday shopping season is that location-based ads lead to sales. Shoppers who view ads for your products online are likely to complete their purchase in either a physical or digital store.
In fact, our research shows that 66% of consumers exposed to location-based mobile ad campaigns ultimately made a purchase. As noted by Retail Touchpoints, “This means location-based marketing isn’t just for brick-and-mortar success: shoppers who make an in-store visit after seeing a location-based mobile ad are 25% more likely to make an ecommerce purchase.”
What’s more, in the beauty, home improvement, and mass merchandise categories, visiting a store results in a sale a whopping 94% of the time.
In-Store Visits and the Purchase Cycle
Knowing more about ecommerce conversion rates, and how visits to physical retail stores impact the online and offline purchase cycle, is incredibly useful to brands. Our study shows that when shoppers visit a store, just 6% of them walk away without making a purchase.
The question, of course, is why is this the case?
“The assumption is, when people go to a store now it’s more purposeful,” GroundTruth’s vice president of marketing Dan Silver told MediaPost.
The Link Between Location Targeting and Annual Spend
There’s another perk to using location-based advertising, and that’s the impact it has on annual average spending. GroundTruth’s data reveals that shoppers who visit a brick-and-mortar store after seeing a location-based mobile ad spend 27% more per year than those who don’t.
“These figures tell a fairly strong story for the power that location targeting can have on purchase behavior,” writes Localogy. “There are few ad modalities that have conversion rates this high.”
When it comes to the COVID holiday shopping season, marketers who leverage location advertising will be at a distinct advantage. The new normal may, in fact, create new opportunities for retailers to thrive.