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Ian Gibbs Ian Gibbs Independent Data Consultant , Data Stories
Direct to consumer, mobile shopping and geo-location data all drive new digital opportunities for some of the UK’s biggest retailers

Direct to consumer, mobile shopping and geo-location data all drive new digital opportunities for some of the UK’s biggest retailers

On Device Research has  today released its UK  Guide to Retail Marketing Effectiveness report, revealing that while some of the biggest  names in UK grocery retail face more digital disruption than ever before, digital advertising had a significant role to play in building brands and driving store footfall.

Mergers, acquisitions, and continued structural changes to the retail landscape driven by ecommerce: the last twelve months have continued to place considerable competitive pressure on UK retailers.

Never has there been a greater role for marketers in applying the power of digital to retail brand building, and as a result, the measurement of marketing effectiveness has never been more important. Digital has had a rough ride over the past few years with justifiable accusations that much effectiveness data sits behind walled gardens. At the same time the industry keeps talking about the value of long term brand building online, while still getting caught up using basic short term behavioural metrics such as click through rates. However, the digital opportunity for retailers is far greater than that measured by a simple click: it can build brands and drive store footfall.

Mental availability and measuring brand impact

As revealed in the report, mobile dominates consumer attention. 88% of our sample of UK consumers use the mobile internet daily, 87% use mobile apps and 72% watch online video.

With mobile commanding consumer attention, it is the ideal platform for growing mental availability by influencing brand consideration. Brand metrics tell us more about long term ad impact than clicks ever will and an analysis of On Device Research’s ad impact database reveals that digital retail ads can have impact throughout the funnel. Across 60 retail ads tested, an average uplift of +9.1% percentage points in Unaided Brand Awareness is seen following ad exposure, while further down the purchase funnel we can see an average uplift in Purchase Intent of +1.9%.

Physical availability and measuring store footfall

Mobile doesn’t just dominate our media consumption habits, but also plays an increasing role in our shopping habits. 29% of UK consumers claim to have bought groceries on their mobile phone in the last three months, but even when a purchase isn’t fulfilled on a mobile device, mobile still plays a crucial role in the path to purchase.

The ONS reports that 82% of retail sales still happen offline, and it is important to acknowledge that digital is a channel not only for retailers to build brands, but for driving store footfall too. On Device Research and Location Science have combined mobile geo-location data and passive ad tracking technology to provide a clear picture of lower funnel impact, revealing an average 14.2% uplift in store footfall following digital ad exposure.

Different retailers face different challenges

Ultimately the disruption that digital brings to both mental and physical availability will vary by retailer, with each one presented with its own unique set of challenges. The report reveals that not only are Marks and Spencer food shoppers the least likely to be watching TV on a daily basis, but they are also the most likely to be shopping directly on a brand’s own website, bringing to light the potential impact that direct-to-consumer brands could start to have on the high street (23% of consumers claim to shop directly on brand’s websites).

Digital disruption creates huge digital ad opportunities for retailers. Measuring the end-to-end impact of digital in a framework that translates impact into actionable, optimisable learnings is vital, and the building blocks are now well and truly in place to paint a true picture of marketing effectiveness for retail brands. To find out more, download a copy of the The UK Guide to Retail Marketing Effectiveness report here.

Ian Gibbs Independent Data Consultant Data Stories Bio

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