According to HubSpot, 78% of local mobile searches result in offline sales. As this form of customer engagement increases, retail marketing teams must become ever more effective at capturing a customer’s interest online and funneling it into a store visit that results in a purchase.
But how do you make and set marketing goals across multiple channels? In this age of omnichannel analytics, what does a good marketing benchmark look like for brick-and-mortar retailers?
Setting and tracking clear, measurable small business marketing KPIs can help you better understand the online-to-offline conversions that drive your business – and your bottom line. If you’ve been unsure about how to utilize your customer data to drive marketing decisions, we have the primer you need to improve your advertising online and boost sales to boot:
1. Foot Traffic
Foot traffic is an important performance indicator for any brick-and-mortar retailer, but there’s more you can do to evaluate how effective SEO and keyword searches are at driving online visitors to your store.
If you’ve already invested in PPC with Google AdWords, take advantage of their in-store visit estimates. Google calculates these numbers by syncing Google Maps data with the number of clicks generated by your ads. The estimates will give you a rough idea of how many people are likely to visit your store after engaging with an ad – but you’ll need to run actual foot traffic data to get the real numbers.
Adjust your copy, timing, and messaging to improve the success of your campaigns, setting specific benchmarks once you have a good baseline to work from.
How to track: Use Google AdWords data to estimate how many of your PPC ads lead to store visits. Paired with beacons or location analytics software – which provide both heat mapping and foot traffic data – in your retail space, you should be able to calculate the lift associated with a specific online campaign.
2. Phone Calls
For marketing principal Troy Spring, who works in the automotive space, phone calls are still an incredibly important metric, even though it might seem like old hat in the age of big data.
“By narrowing down and focusing on some old-school metrics, such as how many people walked through the door and how many times the phone rang, we are able to generate more leads and sales because [we] are spending time analyzing the closing, appointment ratios and the performance of the sales team rather than worrying about the bounce rate of the home page,” Spring explained at Forbes.
If you’re already tracking phone calls – and how often these calls convert to sales – you’re on the right path. Take it one step further by analyzing how many mobile keyword searches for your business result in customer calls. This way you’ll be able to tweak your SEO or PPC strategies to drive search traffic and phone calls.
Data shows that 94% of customers need to call a retailer to get more general information about a product or business. Use the keyword searches that help them find you online to your advantage in future campaigns.
How to track: Call tracking software – or Google’s click-to-call function – will help you get a sense of how many keyword searches result in calls to your store. If you want to encourage more calls or customer engagement, adjust ads and mobile CTAs to make it easier for customers to call your location. And be sure to train your staff on telephone customer service to improve the overall customer experience.
3. Mobile Engagement
Whether you’ve already launched a mobile marketing strategy or your store is just beginning to experiment with beacon-triggered ads, customer engagement provides incredible insight into the success of your campaign.
According to digital marketer Joe Scartz, mobile campaigns – including SMS offers prompted by beacons – are most successful when they’re folded into your overall marketing strategy.
“Done in isolation, [mobile ad campaigns] will not be nearly as effective as they might if you take the time to map out personalized and relevant content via coherent cross-channel integrations and proximity marketing,” Scartz writes at Forbes.
The more personalized your offers, the more effective your marketing team will be at engaging mobile customers and transforming interest into sales.
Need to brush up on your cross-channel efforts? Check out this guide from MarketingLand.
How to track: KPIs here include your customer retention and conversion rates, as well as lifetime user values for customers who provide mobile data. Track these data points to see what makes your customers click – and what makes them stay loyal to your brand.
4. Time to First Visit
Your marketing team probably already tracks how well your business performs in keyword searches.
Gain even more insight into the success of your SEO by tracking the amount of time that lags between a customer’s initial web search and their store visit. This requires installing geofencing hardware, like beacons, or location-analytics software to tag and track individual customer data and how those customers respond to targeted ads.
“The closer to the store, the higher the conversion rate [for targeted ads] and the lower the cost per exposure,” explains Mark Traphagen at MarketingLand.com. “Past five miles, there is typically little to no lift in local store visits.”
Traphagen recommends aiming for a more targeted – that is, a more personal and relevant – approach, rather than relying on a customer’s proximity to do the work for you.
How to track: Use geofencing and mobile marketing to target customers with highly personalized discounts and content – then track how long it takes them to respond to your offer. While individual campaigns may only increase foot traffic slightly over the course of a few days, your aim should be to decrease the amount of time between a customer’s exposure to your offer and their decision to make a purchase.
5. Online Review Growth
Sure, online engagement is important. But likes, clicks, and shares on social media don’t exactly translate into revenue.
Online review growth, on the other hand, gives you more insight into how many customers are purchasing your products. Accurately gauge customer satisfaction with your products and services while driving customer loyalty – all by providing a simple platform for engagement and feedback.
And when 79% of customers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions, encouraging customer reviews becomes one of the best marketing strategies in your arsenal. Reviews convert customers – it’s just that simple.
What’s more, customer reviews can actually help more potential customers find your business online.
“Fresh, product-specific review content drives search traffic and keyword rankings, specifically when a business earns 10 or more reviews – resulting in 15-20% increase in search traffic,” explains Emily Cullinan at the BigCommerce blog.
When you’re trying to improve your cross-platform engagement, capturing the right kind of traffic – and the right kind of customer – is a good place to start.
Learn more about how you can encourage better online reviews here.
How to track: Beyond day-to-day reputation management, design campaigns to incentivize customer reviews. Track how often – and by whom – your offer is redeemed. If you’re marketing a specific product, spend some time analyzing the conversion rates of product reviews to get a better sense of ROI on ad spend.
6. Stock Turn
Managing and tracking inventory is one thing, but tying your stock turnover to sales and marketing efforts is a whole other ball game.
How quickly your stock turns can be a surefire indicator of how well your marketing campaigns – from online to in-store advertising – are doing.
Similarly, if you have a high rate of product return, you’re probably picking up on a disconnect between customer expectations and product quality or usability – which could mean it’s time to rethink your sales and marketing strategies.
Perhaps you have a product that requires more explanation or a finer touch from a floor salesman. Maybe you can improve your in-store displays for this product – or your online product photos – to help move the item.
If you sell products online, be prepared for free shipping and lax return policies to complicate inventory turnover rates – and potentially eat into your profit. Prevent this from happening to you by reading this helpful guide from Shopify.
How to track: Calculate your product return rate and your inventory turnover. Regularly share this data with your marketing team to help inform product-specific campaigns and time general campaigns more effectively.
We know you’re keeping an eye on your store’s sales. But tracking your sale count, or number of transactions, can give you so much more information – including how well your in-store and mobile marketing campaigns are working.
What’s the conversion rate for your mobile offers? How often do customers return to make purchases? What’s your average lifetime value?
Of course, for retail outlets, even successful mobile campaigns mean little if the in-store customer experience fails to delight or inform.
“While sales promotions, point events, and other in-store shopping events are the low-hanging fruit to bringing buyers in,” John William Barger, business development consultant for Saks Fifth Avenue, tells the Vend blog, “at the end of the day, the sales staff needs to be trained to be always available, always listening, and anticipating each customer’s needs.”
Help your staff brush up on the importance of customer delight here.
How to track: Tie your sales transactions to specific time periods – or analyze against foot traffic data – to get a better sense of how well your marketing campaigns perform.