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With the enormous growth of online shopping over the last couple of years, physical Retail has been struggling with the question on how to reinvent itself in this new era of digitalization. As soon as the first pure players arrived, many predicted the death of the physical store. I’ve read many suggestions on how to survive this new landscape, ideas that would save the stores from extinction. Amongst those ideas - that varied from introducing digital screens onto the shop floor, online shopping possibilities in a window to create interaction with consumers to beacons and virtual reality - none of them could take my love for the physical Retail store away. And none of them ever convinced me to take these suggestions on board.
You see, I’ve never stopped believing in the physcial store - how can I forget those years where I learned to master it, on the floor itself? As a true Retail ambassador, I’ve kept the faith, shared the love continuously and slowly but gradually I knew there’s one thing we needed to ask ourselves: Do we really know the essence of Retail? Do we know how to sell a product in a store? Do we know how to create a welcoming ambiance in a store? Do we have the skills to service a customer? Do we know what the heart of our brand is? And do we know what it takes to touch the heart of the new customer and build a community around their experiences? Forget about the fancy ideas and let’s go back to the true mastery of Retail.
Many tried and many have failed - but there are a few examples of Retailers who reinvented Retail without going overboard with fancy ideas. All of them started out with one thing in mind: how to seduce a customer with passion for Retail in this new era.
Story - New York, USA
A new way of experiential Retail by connecting brands and consumers.
Built on the idea to tell a unique Story every four to eight weeks and creating a community around that experience, founder Rachel Shechtman started Story - a 2000 square-feet store in New York, five years ago.
She believes that if we ask consumers to invest in time - a luxury nowadays, there needs to be a reason to visit a physical space. The idea of curating brands and collections with a strong story for a limited number of weeks and thus changing the design of the store, the products and the message continuously, takes guts and determination and is not risk-free. However, in an interview, Rachel stated “It’s about knowing what you do well. In this climate, I believe there’s more risk in not taking risks.”
Story is a platform to try new things and invests on experience per square foot. The store concept is a true role-model as it brings basic Retail principles together we all know but seem to have forgotten: experience, customers and taking risks.
Colette - Paris, France
A curated mix of experiences to bring people together.
Founded in 1997 by Colette Rousseau and her daughter Sarah Andelman, Parisian store Colette at 213, Rue Saint-Honoré has become an icon in the world of Retail. The store is an early adapter of curating an experience where fashion, design, beauty, culture, music, food, pup-up shops and events blend into one store experience.
At the same time, the store has become a cultural icon, making it a must-see during a Paris visit for everyone from all around the world. The Colette store mission is a strong one and has always played an important role in every story the store launches: bringing people together.
Colette was one of the first stores ever to take on such a bold approach in a time when this Retail experience was non-existing and the new concept conquered the world. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the store has delivered a great Retail experience that outlasted all short-lived trends and Retail changes. And the learning here is actually applying the most basic rules of the Retail book: Sharing an experience by bringing people together with the right products at the right time.
Aesop - Melbourne, Australia
Branding skincare with knowledge, design and innovation.
Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 with the objective to bring skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality into the world. Their research led them to plant-based and lab-made ingredients, which brought a unique product range alive during a time when the quest to search for natural skincare products was just starting out. Nowadays, in any Aesop store, customers are serviced by Aesop consultants with a vast knowledge of the product and the brand.
The stores itself are unique architectural statements of well-considered design, based on local culture, history and sustainability principles. The first stand-alone store the brand openend in New York in 2011 immediately drew headlines on all design and Retail blogs as it had such a unique feel to it. And to this day, the Aesop store signature and its unique presentation are used as a Retail inspiration globally.
Next to the brand’s commercial activities, it explores and supports the arts as an important element to inspire, learn and communicate the brand essence.
In order to create a unique brand story for the world to feel and experience, all details must communicate as one, even the less obvious ones. And that’s exactly what the brand has done over the years. A salute to true heart of Retail: keep on innovating - on product & brand and consumer experience.
Back to our roots
The Retailers mentioned in this post all have the heart of Retail masters: everything evolves around consumers, products and innovation. Each of them, at their own unique way, adds value to their brand and communicate these values thoughout all touchpoints. Physical stores are not that difficult to invent, nor does it need complete re-invention. The strongest Retailers use the basic principles that are well known for hundreds of years: service your customers by selling unique products in a nice store, at the right time and spread the word. Really, it’s that simple.
Four innovative ideas
Not many Retailers sweep me off my feet and are able to inspire me. But I must confess - Colette, Story and Aesop do. Simply because they don’t use difficult formulas but in stead, use the oldest Retail knowledge known to mankind. Here are four key take-aways that every brand, entrepreneur or Retailer should bring on board to shape their future:
Source: Esther van Geffen
Article Link: esthervangeffen.com
Author: Esther van Geffen
Published: October 28, 2016
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Achieving holiday retail success is completely doable. But you do need to plan ahead and take steps to prepare for the upcoming seasonal rush. To help you do that, we’ve put together several key tasks you should take care of before the Christmas season. Check them out below and see if you need to add anything to your to-do list.
Sales & Marketing
PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY DISPLAYS
Make sure your displays (i.e. window and in-store displays, shop layouts) can grab attention and entice people to buy. Start planning what you’ll showcase in your store and craft the stories that you’ll tell through your displays.
From a logistical standpoint, see to it that you have the materials to set up stunning displays. These include:
Lights – Invest in good lighting that make your displays pop. If possible, use white lights to generate interest.
Props – Do away with generic props and get yourself something holiday-specific. As Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs notes, if your store looks the same on December 15th as it did on September 15th, you’ll probably settle for crumbs when you could’ve had the entire season.
Signage – “Sale” signs are pretty standard and you should definitely have them in your signage mix. But be sure to throw in unique messages and signs to get the attention of holiday shoppers.
Here’s a great example: In last year’s expert webinar, Bob showed us how a retailer cleverly created a sign to encourage impulse buys during the holiday season. The sign read “The gift you forgot!” and it successfully drove sales for the merchant.
See if you can do something similar this season.
ORDER HOLIDAY-SPECIFIC MERCHANDISE
Will you be selling gift items or holiday-themed merchandise? What about gift bundles? If so, you should place those orders sooner rather than later. Complete your holiday inventory planning, and order merchandise by then end of the month at the latest to ensure that you’re able to stock up on in-demand holiday items.
The same goes for gift cards. Order holiday-centric gift cards and plan out where and how you’re going to promote them. Gift cards are particularly popular during the Christmas season and they’re great for your bottom line. The last thing you want is to run out.
MAKE YOUR WEBSITE HOLIDAY-CENTRIC
See to it that your website is holiday-centric. For instance, you may want to plan the Christmas-themed banners that you’ll display. And during the holidays, many retailers create special gift sections or categories such as “For Her” or “Gifts under $50”. Consider doing the same thing on your website.
Check out this example from Macy’s. Last year, the retailer created gift-centric categories for its holiday guide to make it easy for customers to shop for presents.
If you’re running seasonal promotions, ensure that your website visitors can access and redeem your offers easily.
Have a look at what the Gallagher Chiefs are doing. The professional rugby team (and great Vend customer) is running a promotion in which select items are 75% off. Plus, customers who spend over $100 will get a drawstring boot bag for free. These promotions are announced using a lightbox that appears soon after people land on their site, so visitors are aware of their promotions.
HIRE SEASONAL STAFF FOR THE RUSH
If you’re hiring additional staff this season, now is the time to start looking. Get the word out by posting on job boards, re-hiring previous employees, and asking for referrals.
Aside from that, see if you can implement more creative hiring tactics. Jennifer Martin of Zest Business Consulting, advises retailers to go beyond traditional hiring methods and be more proactive with finding the right staff.
“If you have a few key employees and you want to find others just like them, then learn about them just like you would with defining your ideal clients,” she says. “Find out what their hobbies are, where they spend their down time, and what they do for fun. If you find that a number of your ideal workers take yoga, then guess where you’ll find more people like them? Yup, at yoga classes.”
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH STORE SUPPLIES
The holidays will be hectic and the last thing you want is to run out of supplies when the Christmas season is in full swing. Prepare those supplies now so you won’t have to worry about them later on. Here are a few items you may want to stock up on:
TIGHTEN UP SECURITY
The holidays bring more traffic, but this could also mean more opportunities for theft. Get your loss prevention ducks in a row well before the Christmas season picks up. Here are a few friendly reminders:
Set the right user permissions – Most modern point-of-sale systems allow you to set user permissions to enable or restrict staff members from doing certain tasks. Check with your POS solution provider and see how you can update permissions in your store.
Review your user permissions to make sure you know exactly what your staff can see and do with your POS. A big mistake many retailers make is applying the same permissions for all users.
You should also be vigilant when it comes to who can process voided sales, as this is a very easy way to steal stock.
Invest in loss prevention solutions – There are plenty of tools and technologies in the market that can help beef up store security. Depending on your store and budget, you could consider investing in the following:
Conduct partial inventory counts – Consider cycle counting instead of doing full inventory counts. Cycle counting means physically counting just certain portions of inventory on a daily or weekly basis so you won’t have to do a full inventory count anymore.
In doing so, you’re able to identify stock discrepancies and theft sooner rather than later. Not mention, cycle counting helps you stay on top of inventory without disrupting regular store hours.
LAY OUT YOUR HOLIDAY POLICIES
You may want to implement special policies for the holidays. For example, many retailers are more lenient with returns and exchanges when it comes to products that were purchased during the holidays so they can accommodate purchases that were made early in the season.
You should also be clear about how you’ll process returns. Will you issue cash refunds or store credit? Will you allow shoppers to return items without a receipt? These are just some of the issues you’ll need to address.
There no one-size-fits-all policy for returns and exchanges, so craft your rules based on what makes the most sense for your business. Whatever you decide, though, communicate it clearly with your staff, and ensure your policies are consistent across all your stores.
MAP OUT A FULFILLMENT PLAN
Order fulfillment is a big deal all year round, but during the holiday season, it truly is a make or break factor. The smallest difference in shipping cost or delivery dates can be a deciding factor for consumers, so you want to optimize fulfillment as much as you can.
The first step to implementing a more efficient fulfillment process is to gain real-time visibility across your sales channels. You and your staff should always know what products you have in stock and where they are, so you can provide accurate availability and fulfillment information to your customers.
Additionally, knowing where products are stocked can help you map out fulfillment routes and improve decision making when it comes where to stock up and when.
The holiday shopping season may not be in full swing yet, but it’s high time you start preparing. The steps you take today will determine whether or not you’ll thrive during the Christmas season. So, give yourself the gift of preparedness and take action ASAP.
Need help with your Christmas plans? We are here for you! Contact Retail Return Marketing Solutions today and get the help you need for a successful Christmas retailing season!
Article Link: vendhq.com
Author: Francesca Nicasio
Published: September 13, 2016
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Canadian fast-food chain Freshii has secured its first Australian site at Perth’s largest CBD retail complex, Carillon City.
Freshii will open the doors of its first Australian outlet at the popular Perth food court – offering fresh and nutritious meal options in one of the city’s busiest shopping precincts.
CBRE’s Craig Olde and Richard Cash, who negotiated the seven-year lease on behalf of Carillon City co-owners Hawaiian and Brookfield, said Freshii would introduce an exciting food option to the area.
“The Freshii brand represents a new era of main stream perception around convenience food, contradicting the historic view that food served quickly was by nature unhealthy,” Mr Olde said.
“The brand sprang to notoriety in the USA when the founder boldly and publicly published an open letter to McDonalds offering an open partnership trial at no cost - which Freshii claimed would increase the turnover of McDonalds with no expense or effort. The global fast food giant has to date been silent in direct response to the perpetual standing offer, however has since adopted a distinctly healthier strategy.”
Carillon City is the largest CBD retail asset in Perth, and the only major centre with both Murray Street Mall and Hay Street Mall frontages.
The deal comes shortly after the opening of Hype DC on the Murray Street Mall frontage of the centre, and follows the recent listing of Carillon City for sale.
Freshii CEO, Matthew Corrin
Matthew Corrin, CEO of Freshii, speaks about his experience starting a business, and what he's learned along the way. Video provided with thanks by Startup Laurier.
Source: CBRE Australia
Article Link: cbre.com.au
Author: Natasha Wallis
Published: August 16, 2016
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In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the revenue opportunities that many retailers aren’t taking advantage of. Before searching far and wide for new ways to increase customers and sales, make sure you’re capitalising on factors that are closer to home.
1. You don’t up-sell or cross-sell.
You’re missing tons of chances to increase sales by not engaging with customers who are already buying from you. If you have a customer who already has products on hand, why not approach them to see if there’s anything else that they’d like to buy?
Approach them by recommending relevant products, upgrades, or any special offers you have going on.
The key is doing this in a way that doesn’t come off as pushy. Remember, people love to buy, but they hate being sold to. So as long as you approach shoppers with finesse and you’re providing value, you shouldn’t have any trouble engaging them.
Here some quick tips on carrying out sale tactics effectively:
GET A READ ON EACH CUSTOMER TO DETERMINE THE BEST APPROACH.
Do they look open to conversation or does it look like they want to be left alone? Take time to read customers. Pay attention to what they’re saying, while also looking at their non-verbal cues at the same time. Look at their stance, observe where they put their hands, and note their facial expressions. Your observations should give you cues on how to deliver your spiel.
TAKE TIME TO GET TO KNOW THEM.
Ask questions and figure out your customers’ needs. Get to know the purpose of their visit. Get insights into their lifestyle. Engage in back and forth conversation. This will enable you to suggest products in a natural, non-sleazy way.
KNOW YOUR INVENTORY.
You can’t up-sell or cross-sell properly if you don’t know what you have. So make sure you always know what’s in stock. Also, familiarise yourself with the features, benefits, and stories behind your products.
TIME YOUR APPROACH.
When you decide to up-sell or cross-sell is crucial. As a reminder, here are the best and worst times to sell to shoppers.
When you’re familiar with the customer – Remember our tip about getting to know customers? Implement that before you decide to up-sell or cross-sell. Doing so will not only make recommendations more relevant, but shoppers will be more receptive because you spent time establishing rapport.
When they’re holding a product – This gives you an excellent opportunity to suggest complimentary items.
When addressing an objection – If you have a customer who isn’t too sure about an item or who is considering a product that’s not a good fit for them, grab the opportunity to suggest alternatives.
When a customer has just walked into your store – Shoppers who are immediately sold to after having just walked in might feel ambushed. Not to mention, you won’t know enough about them at this point, so your product recommendations will likely be irrelevant.
When a shopper tells you they don’t want to be sold to – When a customer makes it clear that they’re not interested in other products, respect their wishes and let them be.
2. You don’t follow-up on stock-outs, abandoned carts and “close calls” with buyers.
Did someone almost make a purchase? Find ways to make that “almost sale” into a sure thing.
The first step is to determine why the customer wasn’t able to buy. Did they change their mind? Was the price too high? Or maybe it was a matter of availability. Sales often fall through when the store doesn’t have the right colour or size in stock.
Whatever the case may be, these missed sales don’t have to be lost opportunities for good. Sometimes, you can bring back shoppers and convince them to complete their original purchase by addressing the sales barrier.
For instance, if the price was too high, why not circle back if you decide to put the product on sale?
Ecommerce site Tiny Prints does this. If a customer puts something in their cart but leaves without completing the sale, Tiny Prints sends an email reminding them to check out. For good measure, they even throw in a 20% off coupon.
On the other hand, if a sale falls through due to product unavailability, you can follow-up with customers once you have their merchandise in stock.
Consider what ModCloth is doing. The e-tailer sends “back in stock” emails to shoppers who tried to buy something that wasn’t in-stock at the time.
Do note that such tactics aren’t just for ecommerce. Brick-and-mortar stores can implement similar actions by proactively collecting customer information in-store.
For instance, if a shopper wants to buy something that isn’t in stock, you can take down their information and get in touch when the product becomes available.
You never know, they could still be in the market for that item. And even if they already purchased it from somewhere else, you taking the initiative to notify them still makes a good impression. It keeps you top of mind and increases the likelihood that they’ll shop with you again.
3. You’re not selling on other channels.
Digital channels (i.e. ecommerce, mobile, social) are opening up opportunities for you to expand and reach more consumers. By failing to capitalise on other channels, you’re not just missing out on sales, but you’re driving customers to your competitors.
Make no mistake: your customers aren’t sticking to one channel to shop. They’re also online. And they’re likely using their mobile devices to research and buy. The only way to stay competitive is to be there for your them at multiple touch points.
How exactly can you accomplish this? That depends. If you’re only selling in-store at the moment, then start by setting up an ecommerce site (hint: make sure it’s responsive.)
If you’re already selling online and offline, then find ways to optimise the experience. You can, for example, integrate your offline and ecommerce stores, so inventory and customer data flow seamlessly between channels. You could also implement initiatives such as click-and-collect and mobile ordering.
The key is figuring out what channels your customers are using to shop, and then finding ways to include those very same channels in your strategy.
4. You don’t communicate with existing customers.
If you don’t have a customer retention strategy, you’re missing out on sales. Selling to customers you already have is just as — if not more — effective than acquiring new shoppers.
Plus, it’s a lot easier to engage existing customers than it is to establish rapport with a buyer who doesn’t know who you are. So build up your database by collecting customer information.
The best way to do this is through a loyalty program that rewards people who provide their information and who purchase on a regular basis.
And once you’ve built up your list, make sure you put it to good use. Communicate with shoppers regularly through newsletters. Tell them what’s new in your store, offer them deals, and do what you can to entice them to come back and shop.
For best results, personalise your interactions with customers. If you’re sending out emails, segment shoppers based on demographic or previous purchases so you can make tailored recommendations.
Same thing for shoppers in-store. If you have a returning customer, take a quick look at their profile and previous purchases then craft your approach from there.
Let’s say you see a familiar face walk into your shop. You pull up their information and see that they previously bought products by a particular brand. With this information on hand, you can connect with them by mentioning new arrivals from that brand or by telling an interesting story about the designer.
The ability to personalise is a powerful differentiator in retail. In a world where shoppers can get whatever they want online or at lower-priced stores, the retailers that can get personal are the ones who will win.
5. Failing to take advantage of data.
If you aren’t using data in your business, you’re missing out. Collecting and analysing data about your customers, products, and sales will enable you to make smarter decisions.
What should you stock up on? Which customers are most profitable? Should you cut back on spending in some areas of your business?
The answers to these questions can mean the difference between smashing your revenue targets or missing them entirely. And the best way to figure all this out is to rely on data.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that’ll enable you to collect and use data. Many POS solutions now have reporting tools that generate sales, product, customer reports, so you always know what’s going on in your business.
If you’re looking for more sophisticated technology, you can look into in-store analytics tools such beacons, video analytics, and more.
Whatever tools you decide to use, see to it that they’re giving accurate information on the main areas of your business, including your sales, inventory, and customers.
You’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not capitalising on opportunities you already have. So before you go “out there” to search for ways boost revenue, re-examine your business and identify areas for growth that you aren’t taking full advantage of.
Can you name other instances of retailers leaving money on the table? Let us know in the comments.
Article Link: vendhq.com
Author: Francesca Nicasio
Published: July 19, 2016
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Interestingly, digital’s influence on in-store sales is higher in the 3 developing markets (India, Mexico and China) studied by Deloitte, hovering at around 60% of in-store sales. Mobile’s role is also higher in these countries, influencing slightly more than one-third of in-store sales in China.
In fact, a newly released report from PwC cites data indicating that almost two-thirds (65%) of Chinese shoppers shop online via their mobile at least monthly, roughly three times the proportion (22%) of US shoppers who do so with that frequency. Moreover, some 59% of Chinese shoppers believe that their mobile phone will become the main tool through which they purchase items, compared to 34% of shoppers globally.
How Are Mobile Devices Being Used In-Store?
About three-quarters of the nearly 23,000 online shoppers surveyed by PwC across 25 territories report using a mobile device while in-store. The most common uses of mobile are:
Not surprisingly, Millennials (18-34) are more likely to be engaging in these activities than those 35 and older. For example, among the more popular activities, they are:
Within the US, more than 8 in 10 Millennials (18-34) use their mobile devices while in-store, compared to 55% of shoppers over 35, per the PwC results. Globally, those figures are 88% and 65%, respectively.
Among those shoppers who do not use a mobile/smartphone while shopping in-store, the most commonly-cited reasons are: not seeing the benefit (38%); preferring to speak to sales staff directly (27%); and not owning a mobile or smartphone (18%).
Meanwhile, a separate report from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research also looks at US shoppers’ mobile activities in-store, finding that 41% look for discounts/promotions on their device, 28% compare prices, and 27% look up product reviews.
Finally, outside of the store, a study from UPS and comScore indicates that among shoppers who have recently purchased a high-tech product (such as a computer or mobile phone) online, 76% tracked the delivery on a mobile device. A majority of these shoppers also reported using a retailer’s mobile app (70%), purchasing products on mobile devices (69%) and researching products on a mobile device while in-store (69%).
How Does Digital Impact Different Categories?
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that high-tech shoppers are more apt to be using their mobile devices for shopping, as electronics appears to be one of the most digitally-influenced retail categories, according to Deloitte.
The Deloitte report shows that digital’s influence on in-store sales varies by product category and market. Even so, electronics appears to be the category most influenced by digital in a majority of the markets. That’s true within the US, where it is the leading category impacted by digital among those identified, followed by furniture/home furnishings, automobile, books/music/entertainment and baby/toddler.
Meanwhile, PwC’s report shows how research and purchasing behavior differs across categories also, demonstrating that on a global basis:
The Store Maintains Its Influence
Still, despite digital (including social, which these reports also look at in detail) having a growing influence on retail, the store does maintain its relevance.
In fact, respondents to the PwC survey are more likely to prefer researching products in-store than online across almost all categories, with the only exceptions being household appliances, books, music, movies and video games, and toys (where the gap is marginal).
Moreover, when it comes to the preferred purchase method, in-store plays an even bigger role, leading in all categories save for the entertainment (books, music, movies and video games) sector.
Why stick to in-store shopping? The survey from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research suggests that among those shoppers who believe that in-store delivers a better experience, the leading reasons are that:
In order to make the in-store shopping experience better, respondents to the PwC survey most commonly pointed to:
About the Data: PwC describes its methodology as follows:
“PwC’s Global Retail and Consumer practice, in conjunction with PwC’s Research to Insight (r2i), administered a global survey to understand and compare consumer shopping behaviors and the use of different retail channels across 25 territories: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China/Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.”
The survey was fielded among almost 23,000 online shoppers, 1,000 of whom are in the US.
The Deloitte study is based on surveys conducted by an independent research company between November 2014 and March 2015, polling roughly 2,000 random consumers in each of 9 markets: US; Canada; Australia; Germany; Netherlands; and the UK.
The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research survey was fielded among 1,225 US shoppers in November 2015.
The UPS and comScore “Pulse of the High-Tech Online Shopper” study encompasses data gathered from 2,133 survey panelists in February 2015.
Article Link: marketingcharts.com
Author: MarketingCharts Staff
Published: March 1, 2016
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"One of the trends on our minds is that people are spending more time on mobile than any channel," said Maz Sharafi, director-monetization product marketing at Facebook. "But purchase behaviour is different," he added, with 90% of retails sales still happening store in-store. "With the mobile shift, this is a fundamental challenge that marketers have, in not only how to drive people to a store but how to measure real business results. That's what we're interested in solving."
The store visits metric will be rolling out to advertisers globally in the coming months, Facebook said.
The catch, though, is that advertisers may not be able to get a complete picture of everyone who went into their stores, because users have to opt in to location-tracking in Facebook's app in order for conversions to work.
"It's a seminal moment for Facebook because it's the first time we can close the loop for retailers," said Sam England, product manager at Facebook. "It's been difficult to measure and give advertisers the full picture, but now they can see in real time the number of store visits on a location by location basis. You can cut the data any way you see fit."
Facebook is also rolling out a consumer-facing product, Store Locator, a map feature that pops up in people's news feeds as part of a local awareness ad carousel. The feature will offer retailers the ability to pinpoint locations near Facebook users on a map image, with details including hours of operation, phone number and address. If a person wants more information, like directions on how to get there, they can click the image to be taken to the map app that's native to their smartphones, such as Apple Maps or the map app on Android. The move builds on features introduced last year that enabled advertisers with multiple locations to create dynamic ads for each individual location within a single campaign.
This move, said Yoram Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer, is a bit of a catch-up to Google for Facebook. It will make Facebook's local awareness tools more effective, "but it doesn't add something that other companies don't have," he said.
Facebook's new Offline Conversions API lets advertisers connect in-store transactions or transactions done over the phone to their ads. "The Offline Conversions API allows businesses to match transaction data from their customer database or point-of-sale system to Ads Reporting," Facebook said in a blog post, "helping them better understand the effectiveness of their ads in real-time." Advertisers will have the option to work with partners like IBM, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square, among others, or with Facebook directly.
The data on people is anonymized and aggregated, so marketers can't see the exact individuals who come into or near their stores, but advertisers can view real-time results as transactions occur in-store and over the phone and gain demographic insights about people who purchase products, such as gender, age group and so on, said Facebook.
Many companies, including Google and Facebook, have been trying to link ads online to offline conversions for a while, said Mr. Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer. Efforts include Google's launch of local inventory ads, while Facebook started a partnership with Datalogix (now part of Oracle), which it used to link its ads to offline purchases via loyalty cards and emails.
Mr. Wurmser said in an email that Google has generally had an advantage because "people who enter search queries for products are generally closer to the bottom of the funnel than those who see the more discovery-oriented or retargeting ads on Facebook." He added that Google has offered offline conversion tracking in its AdWords API for some time.
But, he said, "From what I've seen, this new Offline Conversion API brings Facebook up at least to what Google has been offering, but probably goes beyond it. By virtue of the behavioural and interest data it gets from its social networks (FB and Instagram), the additional insights about store traffic are likely beyond what Google can offer. So, I think it's going to be pretty attractive to retailers."
Article Link: adage.com
Author: Maureen Morrison
Published: June 14, 2016
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