More online shoppers are picking up online orders in store, creating a major advantage for brands with physical locations heading into the busy 2019 holiday shopping season. Brands can utilize the following tips to fine-tune their holiday search strategies in order to fuel in-store traffic during the busiest shopping season of the year.
Rakuten Intelligence data shows that the number of online orders being picked up in store has grown by 19% year-over-year. That trend becomes even more pronounced during major sales events. For instance, Rakuten client Nordstrom saw 51% more customers use click and collect during its recent Annual Sale than had done so the previous year.
As omnichannel becomes more pertinent to advertisers and consumers alike, it’s evident a local search strategy is needed to tie together a seamless consumer journey & experience. Below are strategic levers to ensure your digital to location connection is set for success this holiday season through search marketing. Meet the person where they are–whether online or offline.
Measure the impact of digital advertising on in store sales by enabling Google Store Visits. This allows advertisers to attribute in store conversions to their Google Paid Search efforts by looking at phone location history, for those users that have opted in to location sharing, to determine whether someone who clicked on your search ad (on any device) ended up visiting your store. Once enabled by Google, store visits will automatically update to the proper campaigns. This is low hanging fruit with exceptional learning on consumer behavior.
Create search-specific campaigns with the brand name plus ‘near me’, ‘close by’, or ‘where to buy’ to ensure you’re catching your consumers where they’re searching. Then, measure Google Store Visits across all search campaigns.
Users close to stores are particularly responsive & valuable. Ensure search campaigns have proper tiered bidding based on the user’s location in proximity to the store or outlet. Leverage cross-channel messaging in ad copy such as ‘Buy Online & Pick Up In Store’. Continue expanding keyword coverage. Create holiday specific keywords that center around buzzwords such as brand name plus ‘holiday deals near me’
Test and Experiment
Users are more curious, demanding and impatient. Consumers are expecting answers that are highly relevant to them as soon as they search. Field test your local search campaigns now to make sure customers in all geographic locations are being served up the most hyperlocal results.
Tailor ad copy for store-specific campaigns that speak to the user’s location. Highlight loyalty programs or what makes your brand stand apart. Remember, during the holiday, we’re all in the mindset of the best deal that speaks to us. Push bids and messaging aggressively post shipping cut off, highlighting deals that entice users to visit the storefront.
When it comes to local campaigns, it’s important to remember that as of Q2 2019, Google has released a fully automated campaign dedicated to driving users to physical store locations. Advertisers should leverage this campaign type due to the reach and insights Google can provide. Local campaigns will serve on multiple Google-owned properties, including, Search, Maps, Places Page, Display & YouTube.
Remember, advertisers need to focus on a person, not a place. In this ever-evolving digital world with multiple touchpoints, it’s important to ensure you’re there, wherever that may be, for your next customer.