How to Navigate the Complex World of In-Store Conversion Tracking

By: Henry Robinson

Your media is expected to drive sales and engagement with your brand and while online conversions are easily trackable, it is crucial to also track in-store purchases that were encouraged by online media in order to fully understand the return you are getting. 

Adtech companies have made it a lot easier for advertisers to track online sales, and attribute customer interactions with desired outcomes. When media is designed to drive an offline, in-store action, things can get a little trickier. The tools are out there, but you’ll first have to determine what kind of offline action you’re looking to drive as an advertiser.  

Is driving a consumer to a given location enough to consider media successful? Or does your client need a sales receipt’s proof-of-purchase to know they will get a return out of their media? How long does a consumer have to stay at your physical location to be considered a converter? Are your products the only things being sold at a given retail outlet? Or is shelf space being shared with competitors? (In that case, maybe geo location isn’t much help at all.) All of these questions, and many more, can factor into how you track in-store conversions and how you understand what tools are out there to help paint a bigger picture. Ultimately, these tools can make or break your campaign’s success. 

One of the best available tools for advertisers to tie consumers to an in-store conversion is geo-tracking.  If a consumer is shown an ad for your restaurant, and it is known that they drove to the restaurant 4 days later and stayed for one hour, you can be confident that your media helped influence their decision to dine there. Media partners like Placed, FourSquare, and Geoscape can help identify users who have been to a certain location by tracking their device. That data can be used to tie devices back to past media placements, or even retarget them to come back and visit again. Through a partnership with Waze, advertisers can track how many times, and what kinds of people, use their phones to navigate to a given location. In many cases, knowing for certain that a consumer spent time at your store can be one of the best indicators of their interest level in your brand. 

In other cases, tying actual credit card receipt data to users who have interacted with your media can be even more compelling. Partners like Oracle, Nielsen, and IRI can help pull credit card receipt data that is anonymously tied to consumers devices to indicate whether they made a purchase of a given product, or product category. When they compare that information with the device IDs and/or Cookies they know have been served ads, a clear picture is painted of who is converting after being exposed to your media and who is not.

In many cases, using a combination of location based geo-tracking and credit card receipt data can be combined to paint the most complete picture of media attribution possible for offline, in-store conversions. Staying in-the-know on the newest ways to track in-store conversions is crucial to understanding the impact your media can have on your business. 

About Ideas Made Measurable!

At IMM, creating action isn’t just what we do — it’s who we are. Our agency is built to deliver full service capabilities while also delivering measurable results. Big data is the marketing buzzword everyone talks about but few understand. We are here to explain in plain English how data-driven, bottoms-up marketing strategies can help generate leads, drive sales and build your brand. We leverage the expertise of the staff at IMM, a data-driven, full-service digital advertising agency based in Boulder, Colorado.

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