Stores Boost Traffic by Connecting with Online Product Availability Checkers

BY Courtney Huckabay
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"Smartphone shopping has reached some remarkable new milestones. Mobile shopping-​related searches increased 120% in the past year, a review of Google data shows. With this growth, retailers are finding that mobile plays a critical role in driving shoppers in-store."

"With mobile, marketers have the unique power to match marketing messages with signals of intent and context. What are they looking for? Where are they right now? What kind of person is shopping?" Matt Lawson asks in his Think with Google piece.

Recent Google search data and third-​party evidence has given new insights into how marketers can engage shoppers in these micro-​moments. Here's what Google recently learned:

1. "Smartphone shopping has created a new "front door to the store." That's the phrase Target now uses after learning that three-​fourths of its guests start their shopping journey on mobile, and that one-​third of guests who click on a mobile search ad take a trip to a Target store. Similarly, the telecommunications company Sprint discovered that one in four people who click on their mobile search ads end up in a Sprint retail store."

Target Online Product Avallability Checkers with mobile search ads. AudienceSCAN data revealed 39% of product checkers took action based on sponsored search results (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing) in the past month. And, 59.3% of checkers took action after seeing mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads in the past year.

2. "Consumers are hungrier than ever for local information. Google searches with "near me" have grown 2.4X year-​over-​year. In fact, according to research, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase."

3. "Ads that show local inventory drive shoppers into stores. One in four people who avoid stores say it's because they don't know if a product is in stock. Showing shoppers the items you have in stock at nearby stores can be half the battle. After adopting Local Inventory Ads, which show actual store inventory to online searchers, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores saw a 122% increase in store visits."

According to the AudienceSCAN survey, 11.6% of U.S. adults have checked to see if a desired product is in stock from their smartphones or tablets in the past 6 months.

4. "Smartphones are the new in-​store research advisor. Eighty-​two percent of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they're about to make in a store. Amazingly, nearly one in four shoppers say they have changed their minds while in a checkout line after looking up details on a smartphone. The beauty and body-​care retailer Sephora has been a leader in treating in-​store mobile behavior as a major opportunity: They encourage in-​store customers to scan products into Sephora's mobile app to receive product ratings, reviews and other key information."

During the past 30 days, 44% of Online Product Availability Checkers have used the internet via browser, tablet or smartphone to visit a local store/​business website to research a product or service before buying, AudienceSCAN research found.

5. "Omni-​channel shoppers spend more. According to MasterCard, customers who shop both online and off with a specific retailer buy 250% more on average. Macy's discovered that its omni-​channel shoppers are 8X more valuable than those who shop in a single channel."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.