This post was guest authored by Marisol Rossi Gonzalez. 

“We’re reopening.” 

It’s a sentence that retailers have been longing to hear. And many have been asking themselves,  what will we do when the time comes? With non-essential stores set to reopen in the UK  next week, now is the time to for retailers to start thinking. Today, Marisol Rossi Gonzalez, Rakuten Advertising’s Senior Manager of Search, discusses how retailers can develop an online strategy to support the reopening of stores. Also known as O2O (Online to Offline). 

Let’s start with everyone’s favourite step: the freebies. For retailers who run Google or Bing search campaigns, odds are you will have updated your messaging to reflect the current situation. Once stores reopen, retailers should revise active ads and extensions to communicate important information to consumers. For examplemake a note of which store locations are now open, or showcase other offerings such as curbside-pickup, extended returns and more. This can be achieved through text ads, site links, and callouts. Additionally, make sure to re-enable location extensions for any open stores. This will facilitate driving directions and opening hours for users within a close distance to store locations. 


Example of Search campaigns

Once retailers have assessed the messaging piece, they should start thinking about bid adjustmentsMost campaign types will allow for location bid adjustments to be made at multiple levels of granularity; from entire countries down to postcodes. If retailers are looking to increase brand prominence for open stores, a great way to do so is by increasing location bids in thosareas. Thiwill allow retailers to grow impression share and increase the chance of a usein an area of interest seeinthe ad and going to a store. 

 For retailers wanting to take their O2O strategy to the next level, two other campaign types can be leveraged: Local Campaigns and Local Inventory Ads. Both of which are geared explicitly towards driving in-store traffic. Using a combination of these will allow retailers to showcase store inventory and offerings across Shopping, Search, YouTube, GDN, and Google Maps in a user-friendly manner.  

Lastly, retailers should know their in-store CVR and AOV. Doing so allows for a more accurate estimate of how much revenue each visit is worth. This enables retailers to calculate a return for all their O2O efforts and provides a deeper understanding of the value each strategy brings

There are many ways in which retailers can utilise online strategies to fuel in-stores purchases. Retailers should make sure they are ready for customers to return to stores and to optimise the revenue gains that they’re sure to bring!   

We’d love to hear how these tips worked for you. What were your results? Contact your Rakuten Advertising representative to get in touch or visit