Many owners of traditional businesses don’t appreciate the connection between internet marketing and offline results. If they don’t offer products or services online, why do they need to focus on their web presence?
But this mindset causes them to miss out on opportunities for growth. There’s no question: online efforts can have a significant impact on the bottom line of every business.
A recent study conducted by Applied Predictive Technologies recently looked at one simple question about the connection between the internet and brick and mortar businesses:
Do online search ads impact offline store sales?
The answer was: “definitely.” The study looked at the top 13 retailers in the United States between 2008 and 2011 and demonstrated direct, causal evidence that search ads drive incremental offline sales.
Why? Because people shop on the internet before stepping foot in any store. Up to 88% of consumers research online first, and then purchase in a brick-and-mortar location. And this number is only expected to rise.
The study measured how the amount spent on internet search ads impacts in-store sales. For geographically-based experiments, retailers increased the budget for search ads in test markets and compared the in-store sales to comparable control markets. You can see details on the study here.
This also means that businesses that sell both online and offline don’t have an accurate account of the complete ROI for their advertising. In other words, they’re likely seeing more conversions than what is being tracked by their online analytics.
Should Your Business Rethink Your Online Strategy?
Understanding the full value of online advertising can help you make smarter spending decisions for your marketing dollars. Internet marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, and you can avoid wasting funds on trial and error by working with an experienced professional.
It’s crucial that you tailor a plan that targets your customers. For many, part of this strategy will include maintaining a PPC ad campaign that doesn’t just drive traffic to your website, but ultimately to your brick-and-mortar location, too.
Shepard Morrow delivers results for entrepreneurs and owner-operators as the head of Location Traffic, an internet marketing and business consulting company in NJ. Learn more at LocationTraffic.com or call 609-737-8667.