Bridging Online and Offline to Drive Sales this Holiday Season


THIS TIME OF YEAR, department stores, discount retailers, big box, and high end stores are all busy finalizing their plans to capitalize on the upcoming holiday shopping season.

With up to 30 percent of annual sales represented during the holiday season, it’s no wonder retailers’ number one focus is driving the most traffic and sales during this busy time.

Times are changing though, and the busiest holiday shopping days aren’t what they used to be. For example, while Cyber Monday is still the highest online spending day and Thanksgiving Day drives the most online traffic to retail sites, the peaks from day to day are getting less extreme as the distinction be- tween shoppers on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are blurring. Also, retailers now have to plan around emergence dates such as Mobile Eve, the day before Christmas, and the Day After Christmas to make the most of the full holiday shopping season.

While key shopping dates are shifting, one thing hasn’t changed: 90% of retail transactions still happen in the physical world. With all of the hype around e-commerce and Cyber Monday, focus- ing on clicks and conversions means you’re only measuring the tip of the iceberg. The key to winning the holiday season will be to effectively bridge the gap between online and offline, measuring the impact of marketing efforts on brick-and-mortar metrics like in-store foot traffic.

As retailers begin activating holiday plans to drive Q4 sales, advertisers are leveraging mobile location to bridge the online and offline worlds and ensure success in three key ways:


Visitation habits vary by region, day, and time. Throughout the year, we see that one-third of rural consumers travel over 25 miles to shop or eat at a restaurant – this is twice as far as the average urban or suburban dweller. Insights like these have helped advertisers craft dynamic radial targets that adapts to consumer behavior in the regions around each of their stores. This holiday season, we can go one step further and analyze regional shopping patterns based on last year’s visitation data. For example, shoppers in the West and Northeast were more likely to visit high end retail stores last December uncovering a potential targeting strategy for luxury marketers. In the South, we see ten percent higher retail traffic than the national average when factoring for population. Knowing this, retail marketers are thinking not about driving to store, but instead messaging Southern consumers while they are out shopping to drive higher basket sizes.


We know more about key target audiences than ever before. By analyzing real-world behaviors, we’re able to see that millennials are 10% more likely to visit Big Box retailers than the general population and 8% less likely to visit discount stores. If you’re a Big Box retailer, tapping into millennial’s disposable income with “Treat Yourself ” messaging could capitalize on this trend. When looking at Moms, we see 10% higher foot traffic on Fridays compared to the overall population, and 8% less visitation on Sun- day. Could Sunday deals help boost in-store visits from this key audience at the end of the week? By personalizing your messaging and getting a little creative, you can increase store visitation and sales by delivering the offer that’s most likely to resonate.


Leveraging mobile location data doesn’t simply help us understand and target audiences more intelligently. It also helps us measure the impact of digital marketing efforts on real-world behaviors. Leveraging products like comScore Location Lift has helped our clients understand how they are impacting the 90% of holiday transactions happening in brick-and-mortar, and increasingly put those insights to work in optimizing strategies. Measuring incremental vis- its driven to your stores means you can start to arrive at true cross-channel ROI numbers for your mobile investment: incremental revenue and sales.

Working with a major toy retailer during last year’s holiday shopping season, we were able to put all three of these strategies together to generate real-world brick-and-mortar ROI. Analyzing visitation patterns of moms and parents helped the team build customized lo- cation targeting to hone in on the client’s customers, and served the target audience messaging driving visits to the nearest store. Combining intelligent targeting with tailored messaging en- abled a 13% increase in store visits, and a 9% increase in basket size during the key Black Friday time period.

This holiday season, go beyond cookies and clicks. Consumers are gearing up for the biggest shopping months of the year, and they are going to do most of their shopping in your physical stores. If you don’t fully understand how your consumers are behaving in the physical world, then you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Mobile location insights, targeting, and measurement can help make sure your 2016 holiday season is full of cheer and not surprises.

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