A shopper might initially discover a product on a mobile device, but could very well turn to their desktop for additional information, and then ultimately convert at a physical store location.
Retailers are struggling to keep up, according to Deloitte. While 87 percent of retail leaders agree omnichannel strategy is critical or very important to business success, only 8 percent believe they have mastered the omnichannel equation.
Recently, I connected with Yair Cohn, product growth manager at Facebook, and Bill Connolly, director of content at Montotype, to discuss how retailers can tackle offline measurement of online ads, build personalized campaigns based on omnichannel behavior, and create compelling creatives that convert both online and in-store.
Below you’ll find their top six takeaways on how to drive omnichannel marketing results on Facebook and Instagram:
1. The use of Facebook offline conversions is necessary.
The majority of retail sales still take place offline — 90 percent in the U.S. But brick-and-mortar stores face an uneven playing field online. By not utilizing their in-store data, retailers are missing out on a huge opportunity to measure how well their digital ads are performing.
“Facebook is basically a people-based marketing platform, which really means that our systems are fueled by the fact that we understand the consumer behavior and journey,” said Facebook’s Cohn.
That’s where Facebook offline conversions comes in.
By integrating in-store data to Facebook offline conversions, marketers can then measure the value of their ad spend, target more of the right people, and fully optimize performance.
2. Upload data in multiple ways.
Here are some of the ways to upload your data:
- Manually by uploading a CSV file. This method is error prone, so Cohn recommends using this only for testing purposes, and not as a long-term solution.
- A direct integration with the Facebook API. This solution provides real-time coverage, but requires heavy lifting from a tech standpoint.
- By working with a technology partner, which will give you the benefits of the API without having to build it yourself (in addition to custom optimizations).
3. Provide shoppers with multiple ways to purchase.
For audiences who are in close radius to a store, include online and in-store messaging as well as a map card. The map card is presented as another slide in your carousel ad that features a map, store distance, hours, and contact information. Use a "store token" in the post copy for in-store messaging, which will show the user the exact name of the store nearby.
4. Don’t rely solely on online data.
Fueling campaigns based solely on online data limits your potential to drive significant revenue.
Fashion brand Reiss provides a good example. The U.K.-based retailer captured customer emails at its brick-and-mortar locations, but wasn’t leveraging in-store data in any way. By not acting on those insights or personalizing the creative ad experience, Reiss was leaving money on the table.
The StitcherAds team helped Reiss reconfigure its Facebook and Instagram campaigns. With highly segmented audiences of in-store and online shoppers, as well as carousel ads that called out specific store locations, Reiss saw stellar results.
With these changes, Reiss experienced a 76 percent increase in Facebook-influenced store revenue and a 53 percent lift in omnichannel return on ad spend.
5. Add value to in-store experiences beyond the purchase.
Your customers are some of your biggest advocates. They're constantly creating and posting content on your behalf. Leverage your physical stores to encourage even more content creation. “Use your content as a way to market in-store experiences online,” said Connolly.
You can accomplish this by:
- identifying existing in-store “hot spots” and capitalizing on them;
- making your store “photo-ready" through the use of well-lit displays, engaging signage, and compelling attractions;
- ensuring you have a feature attraction — e.g., feature walls, art installations, special events; and
- making your store more interactive by entertaining and engaging customers while providing customizable value.
6. Elevate omnichannel campaigns through video.
Some 79 percent of users would rather watch a video to learn about a product than reading text on a page.
“It’s all about being able to create what Google calls ‘the thumb-stopping moment,’" noted Connolly. “It’s about being able to interrupt somebody’s experience — especially with an advertisement — so that the customer wants to see what the next step might be in their buying journey.”
Unfortunately, retailers are struggling to scale video in their ads.
If you’re only creating and optimizing campaigns that align with online customers, you’re missing a major opportunity to drive revenue. Leverage both online and in-store data to create effective omnichannel campaigns, and watch your bottom line grow.
Conor Ryan is the co-founder and CIO at StitcherAds, where he leads the charge on developing unified commerce solutions to address the complications of effectively executing omnichannel media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.