Using Search to Drive Footfall to Stores
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) have long been the go-to channels for E-Commerce and Direct To Consumer brands, but there is a massive missed opportunity for brands who sell exclusively via outside retailers rather than their own websites or channels.
Many of our clients are brand owners who distribute directly via retailers, such as Woolworths or Big W, and for brands like these, Search is rarely high on their list of digital marketing channels for targeting their customers. However, we know from research that approximately 87% of users begin their search online via Google, and occasionally Bing, when they are looking for a particular product, service or solution to an issue they may have. This high percentage shows that SEM and PPC are therefore the perfect opportunities for them to get their brand in front of this potential new customer early on in their journey, even for those who only sell via outside retailers.
Affiliate Location Extensions
To bridge the gap between online and offline, Google has a feature called Affiliate Location Extensions, which allows you to select the major retailers your products are sold from and add those as extension links to a Search Ad. The links show at the bottom of the Search Ad and highlights to the user where their nearest location to buy the product is. By showing the nearest location for a user to physically buy the product, it encourages footfall directly to the store as they know they won’t have to travel far to pick up the product they are searching for.
The Township ran a recent campaign promoting Toy Story Drop Down Toys for sale through Search Ads. We utilised the Affiliate Location Extension, as shown in the picture, which highlights to a user searching ‘toy story toys’ the exact nearby locations that they can purchase the product, beneath the link for the Big W retailer website.
In the first phase of this campaign, we saw x4 more clicks by users on the location extension of the Search Ad, rather than direct clicks to the Big W website. This shows that users actively sought directions to their nearest store, even while searching online for a product, indicating a stronger intent to go instore to view and then purchase the product, rather than just buying online.
We know that many users still shop both online and offline and having active search campaigns running with these extensions in place means you are reaching the right users at the right time and providing them with convenient paths to purchase. They will be directed to the online store as is usual with a Paid Search Ad, or they will get directions to the nearest store that sells the products they were researching. This will, in turn, increase sales as it doubles the opportunities for purchase by adding an offline and in-store buying solution to their online search.
This data shows how important SEM and PPC is, even for brands that only sell through outside retailers, as it can drive foot traffic as well as online sales.
If you need help with Search Engine Marketing and Pay-Per-Click Search Ads for your brand, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Township today!