Need an in-store sales boost? Your answer is online.
There’s a new type of customer that’s gracing retail locations with their presence these days, and if your sales and marketing team aren’t knowledgeable as to how they’re researching and shopping online, your organization could be missing out on essential opportunities to increase your in-store sales.
There’s no doubt about it, retail brands are now dealing with an increasingly advanced customer. The once-loyal consumer that bought the same products and shopped at the same brick and mortar location now has a multitude of options and platforms when trying to purchase their goods and services. That loyalty has now diminished.
Think about how we shop. We don’t simply just head to a store and make a purchase anymore. Modern consumers have become research-obsessed, demanding, and impatient. But, ultimately, we recognize we’re are all that matters. Brands everywhere, especially Google and Amazon are embodying that customer-centric nature, and if you’re not, you can guarantee your competition is.
Over the last few years the exponential increases in technology have evolved us as humans and because of these evolutions, we have changed as consumers. There are three major factors that have massively influenced this transformation.
- The mobile device and its impact on our lives
- The internet speeds at which we can access information and products
- The ability to share that information with anyone and everyone seamlessly
If retail organizations wish to truly improve their customers’ lives and compete with online retailers, they have to collect the valuable questions their customers are asking search engines, study and understand that data, and be able to seamlessly bridge the gap between the customer’s desktop experience, the mobile experience and the in-store experience.
With a simple click or tap, your organization now has the ability to transform an unfamiliar consumer into a loyal, in-store customer.
So, how can your retail location use the power of Google Ads to increase in-store sales and foot traffic?
- Extensively study search engine data & keywords
- Create empathetic & relevant Google Ads content
- Focus on local search for maximum effectiveness
- Turn up your social channels, reviews & email marketing
- Test your strategies for improved success
Google Search Data Will Help Retail Organizations Increase In-Store Sales
There’s no question, extensive data and keyword research is one of the most important starting points for any successful retail digital marketing strategy in Google Ads.
Brands are constantly trying to figure out how to best reach their consumers. From the customer side, it’s not about what’s the “best product on the market,” it’s about “what’s the best product on the market for them.” Personalization is everything now.
What Google does better than almost anyone, they produce a truly customer-centric user experience. Their goal is and always has been to complete a user’s “job-to-be-done” as quickly as possible.
If your brand can digest the important questions that your target audience is asking online and deduct your customers’ problems, you’ll be able to successfully strategize your sales and marketing efforts around their pain points, elevate their user experience and get them into your stores to increase sales.
The data and insights uncovered will allow your brand to set KPIs and:
- Define custom intent audiences
- Define related searches to remarket more efficiently
- Identify levels of competition of industry and non-industry competitors in the paid and organic marketplace
- Define customer language to segment targeted audiences and messaging
- Identify additional relevant and related searches
Build Customer-Centric Content & Increase In-Store Sales
Increasing in-store sales by using Google Ads and digital marketing is all about organically creating a relationship in which your organization provides real, tangible value to your customers. The optimal route to accomplish this is by populating each piece of messaging and content with incredibly relevant and useful information that you’ve uncovered in the data process.
Your organization must use your new-found data and keywords to:
- Tap into the customer's pain points
- Attract their inner desires
- Demonstrate differences between brands
- Utilize visual metaphors
- Connect to customer's emotions
So, how can your company increase the relevance of your content and use it to increase in-store sales?
By inserting your top-performing keyword phrases into:
- Your headlines & descriptions
- Your website landing pages
- Your URLs
- Your ad extensions
If your KPI is to increase in-store sales at Walgreens or Walmart, then use the power of Google Ads to drive customers to a product-specific landing page that has an exclusive downloadable coupon that’s only valid in those stores.
When your brand optimizes its written content in your ads and on your landing pages, you’re not only showing a prospective customer that your product or service is relevant to their search query or “jobs-to-be-done,” but you’re also catering to Google’s algorithms which will attempt to put your ads in a better position than the competition.
Act Locally To Increase In-Store Sales With Google Ads
There’s a famous saying that goes, “think globally, act locally.” Well, this is certainly a phrase that all retail digital marketers and CPG executives need to take to heart. Every retail organization needs to advance their process of researching search engine data in order to accompany this change and:
- Remarket better and drive more in-store sales
- Become part of a customer’s purchase decision earlier in the funnel or while customers search opposing products or services
- Find invaluable signals of intent for particular products or services
More importantly, retailers need to act on how they can utilize data to improve local and mobile search engine optimization and actually improve their customer’s lives, not just gain an increase in sales.
The above “Think with Google” study showed in the past two years:
- 150%+ growth in mobile searches for “near me now”
- 900%+ growth in mobile searches for “near me today/tonight”
- 200%+ growth in mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me”
Those numbers are astounding, and as a result of these changes in the digital search landscape, many organizations need to become more competitive on the local search front so they can increase in-store sales.
If this shows the retail digital marketing world anything, it’s that customers often already know what they need, they just don’t know where to get it.
Retail marketers must capitalize on providing more local information and continue to optimize the customer experience for mobile devices.
An informed and educated customer doesn’t have the time or the patience to drive around town looking for your products or services. They need their “jobs-to-be-done” to be completed as quickly as possible and on as few platforms as possible.
- Make their experience easy and seamless so they’re not overwhelmed by making even the simplest decision.
- Find transparent and empathetic ways your customers can tell you what’s important to them, so your organization can evolve for them.
- Play into the research-obsessed consumer and find ways to assist their journey and make them a part of your brand family.
When retailers embrace a platform like Google My Business you’ll give a customer the tools to:
- Book an appointment
- See your products and services
- Read customer reviews
Additional Local-Focused Retail Strategies To Increase In-Store Sales:
Increase In-Store Sales By Allowing Consumers To Buy Online & Pickup In-Store
This tactic allows your consumer to purchase the product they want instantly and have the peace of mind to pick it up that day. In addition to improving the customer experience it also gives your retail location an additional chance to hopefully have that shopper buy something else while picking up their purchase.
Increase In-Store Sales By Showing Your Inventory Online
In our instant satisfaction generation, consumers all want the ability to check if the product they’re looking for is in stock at your retail location. By showing your consumers that you have the items at a nearby location you’re doing everything in your power to drive more traffic to your storefront. Google Local Inventory Ads show actual store inventory to online searchers and will give your brand an additional leg up over the competition.
Implement Location-Based Targeting & Increase In-Store Sales
One of the most successful avenues to capturing more consumers is with location-based marketing. Your organization can utilize ads that are targeted to your brick and mortar geographic location, and whenever a consumer searches online for products and services you’re able to get your brand in front of them.
Give In-Store Incentives, Prompt In-Store Check-Ins & Increase In-Store Sales
Any time your organization can utilize loyalty programs to reward your customers for some form of engagement in-store you’re bringing them further into your brand. Offering discounts and special offers to consumers while they’re in your store will surely increase sales and their relationship with your brand. Lifestyle brands like Patagonia and Lululemon offer relevant classes and clubs that not only allow customers to buy new products at your location but they also allow them to grow their knowledge of your brand and actually better their lives.
Utilize Google’s Ad Extensions & Increase In-Store Sales
Google’s ad extensions are an incredibly underused opportunity for any retail business to gain prominence on search result pages, while simultaneously adding valuable information and visual assistance to your potential customers and attempting to increase in-store sales.
Try utilizing at least four ad extensions for each campaign and/or ad group. The more eligible extensions you give your ads the better the opportunity to complete user’s jobs-to-be-done and get customers in your stores.
These ad extensions, such as location extensions, call extensions, and app install extensions are proven to aid user experience as well as increase sales. Any added friction in a customer’s purchase or education journey will almost always lead to abandonment and your potential customer will more than likely take their business to a competitor.
Every Google Ads account has the ability to enable extensions to show in your ads and allow your customers to complete their jobs-to-be-done in your retail location.
Ads with multiple extensions often perform better than ads with only one extension.
Call Extensions: If you’re trying to receive phone calls for leads, these display the phone number for your business or a forwarding number provided by Google. Any time you can provide a one-click process, you’re showing customers that your brand cares about user experience.
Location Extensions: If you’re a retail location and trying to drive customers to your brick and mortar, these will link your ad to your address. Again, producing a one-click experience is key towards digital growth.
Sitelinks: These allow you to provide links to additional landing pages. They allow your organization to take up more real estate on search result pages as well as improvements in user experience.
Callouts: These are little, bullet point messages where you can provide more information about your offer or business in a reader-friendly format.
Structured Snippets: These will allow your team to add a list of items to your ads. If you sell different brands then you could create a list, or if you provide different services, you can list them for your customer to easily peruse.
Reviews Are The Digital Word-Of-Mouth & Will Increase In-Store Sales
One of the most underrated avenues for increasing in-store sales in our digital world is through online reviews. Now more than ever, customers are searching for real-world opinions and experiences from actual consumers and having that define their purchase decision.
Consumers are not just buying products anymore, they’re purchasing your brand’s experience and the more reviews you can have found on your website, your site extensions, or on your Google My Business page, the more ammunition you’ll have when a customer is trying to decide if they’re going to take their business to your retail location.
If your goal is to increase in-store sales then prompt visitors to produce reviews about their in-store retail experience and reward them for it with a 10% coupon on their next in-store visit.
Use Social Media, YouTube & Email Marketing To Increase In-Store Sales
When trying to increase in-store sales, consistently giving your customers valuable content is the name of the game. The emergence of social media, YouTube, and email marketing has done amazing things when determining what information your company may need to share with its consumers.
In order to truly increase in-store sales, you can’t solely rely on search and display ads. Three of the most powerful forms of digital advertising that can increase foot traffic and retail sales, in addition to Google Ads:
- Social Media & Display
- Email Marketing
The evolution of social media has modified how we can interact with one another, giving every organization the ability to create tailor-made, meaningful, personalized customer experiences at all times.
Embrace These Platforms & Increase In-Store Sales:
1. Social Media & Display Network: Instantly share information with customers on new technology, services, sales, and processes, as well as give your brand a face or voice of the business. Also, your brand can leverage video pre-roll & static image creative ads targeted to your match audiences.
2. Video Marketing: Improve the customer education process and immerse a prospective customer into your brand’s world with 360 Video. Reach a broader audience in the early stages of the buying process with Video targeting and utilize YouTube TrueView 15 second pre-roll to target match audiences.
3. Email Marketing: Email Marketing is one of the most profitable and personalized tools in any content marketer’s toolbox. There’s limitless amounts of testing that can be implemented to perfect your retail messaging.
If your organization is going to elevate a customer’s experience and increase in-store sales, it’s vital to understand your customer, the platform on which they’re accessing their information, and what their intended outcome is.
Remember, a successful digital marketing strategy that elevates in-store sales isn’t just about getting more customers to your store, it’s about getting the right customer at the right time, and that’s why it’s vital to utilize emerging technologies and platforms to remain top of mind and visible to your prospects whenever and wherever their need emerges.
Make sure that your marketing team is focusing on these aspects for additional success:
- High-quality images & videos
- Blazing-fast website load time, especially on mobile
- Customer reviews & testimonials
Leverage These Email Marketing Tactics & Increase In-Store Sales:
The Special Offer Email
A special offer email is one of the most successful email marketing campaigns your brand can produce if your goal is to drive in-store sales.
Special offer emails should:
- Seamlessly showcase your latest products and services.
- Offer a discount or special promotion to get users in the store.
Best-Buy does an incredible job of nudging its customers to partake in its sales and events and their increases in sales over the last year have proven these tactics success. They use their website experience as a starting point for their A.I. systems to recognize what consumers are looking for and if they see any hesitation in a purchase normally within twenty-four hours you’ll see a timely and personalized email sent to your inbox.
The Abandoned Cart Email
There could be a lot of different reasons that a potential customer would opt out of the purchase process on your website. It could be the load time. You may not have an SSL certificate set up. They may want to be seeing if shipping is free or if there’s a special discount once they place their item in their cart.
Whichever piece of the puzzle it is, it’s up to your retail marketing team to reach out and win that customer back through this part of the process. Timing is key. It needs to happen within 24 hours, or else they will go elsewhere to purchase their products and services.
If you’re shopping on Best Buy online and place something in your cart, then decide to exit during the check-out process, you’ll be prompted with a sizeable discount or special offer in an email within a day normally.
Where retail organizations can use this tactic to increase in-store sales is by sending a personalized email with that product and some additional products that are incredibly relevant. However, just showing them these products again isn’t enough, there needs to be a direct response element embedded within the messaging. Give them incentive to come into the store and make the purchase.
Whether it’s your incredibly knowledgeable staff or your in-store prices, tactics like this are sure to show that shopper that your business is not only the best source for them to gain a product or a service, but you’re giving them the best deal as well.
To Sum Up Using Online Advertising To Increase In-Store Sales
Retail organizations everywhere need to fully embrace the data-driven revolution if they’re going to create successful and meaningful relationships with customers and increase in-store sales.
More importantly, your team will need to:
- Utilize your data
- Embrace social media
- Produce empathetic customer experiences
- Speak to your true audience
- Utilize reviews
- Leverage localized products like location extensions
- Build a Google My Business page
If your organization is still shaking its head over what strategies your company should implement to increase brand awareness and maximize profits in-store, reach out to one of ClickScore’s Google Ads Specialists or simply connect to ClickScore for your FREE Google Ads audit.
A minute of your time could improve user experience and save you thousands in ROI.