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Bridging the offline-to-online attribution gap

Author: Jack Warren, Partnership Manager, Eagle Eye Solutions Ltd.
 
Over 80% of sales are still completed in person, instore. So, how can the vast majority of sales occur on the High Street, but High Street retailers be fighting for survival?

Performance marketing companies drive online traffic to ecommerce sales and instore marketers are not seeing any of it. Eagle Eye can save them from missing out.

The answer to the “80% but still failing” conundrum is in the accounting: a physical presence can be costly. Stores on the High Street face rising business rates and also have to be rented, maintained, insured, guarded and manned by faithful staff that can fill shelves and offer customers expert knowledge that can save a sale. Online stores can offer some of this with bots and cheap server space, and warehouse space incurs lower taxes.

The online world is also equipped with leading-edge technology, like machine learning-enabled algorithms that can follow each action a customer makes to provide a perfectly timed nudge to convert what was just a search, into browsing  and through discovery to a sale.

The instore purchase figure may be 80% right now, but with all the tricks and tools at the online marketer’s disposal it will not be surprising if this drops significantly over the next five years. Now, even with 80% of sales completed on the High Street we are still seeing challenging times, imagine the turmoil if that number were to fall to 75%, 70% or 65%.

Sitting largely online only, the performance marketing industry shifts billions through online voucher, discount and cashback sites every year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC reported that UK affiliate advertisers spent £429m in 2018. The Performance Marketing Association found their counterparts in the US spent a whopping $6.2bn over the same period. Practically all of this traffic is directed online because the tracking of instore spend has been difficult to scale, recuperate and attribute commission fairly between the affiliates driving the traffic to retailers’ ecommerce sites in the first place.

Commission for traffic driven from tens of thousands of publishers is tracked and allocated by large affiliate networks like Awin, Rakuten or Tradedoubler. It tracks spend per clickthrough from a publisher’s website. It is also armed with advanced tools to leverage that customer activity data for extra spend in the online world – but instore remains a blackhole. Yet, consider that research has found omnichannel customers spend 4% more instore and 10% more online when compared to single-channel shoppers.

Eagle Eye can track redeemed sales instore for audience networks. It has been doing this for a variety of retail sectors, and the same technology is appropriate for any retail, leisure or hospitality operators with a physical point of sale; from grocery and fashion to beauty, homeware and casual dining, etc. The ability to track an individual promotion or reward through to checkout, tracking unique codes through, from paper, card or digital issuance to redemption, for clear attribution holds huge opportunity for High Street marketers to engage with customers before, during and after a visit, and can contribute to saving the High Street by driving more traffic.

It’s a win-win: more traffic is good for networks and publishers too. Until now, they have been confined to 20% of the sales made after people leave the High Street for online.

If you’d like to find out more information about how Eagle Eye is helping affiliate networks, publishers and other audience partners drive retail traffic instore, or want to develop performance marketing audience partnerships to support instore sales and marketing, get in touch here.