Online vs Offline: Digital Marketing, A Master of Influence

17 March 2022

Blog - Online vs offline.png

Digital Marketing is an ever-evolving sector. Filled with constant innovations, valuable insights and constantly shifting parameters around personal data and audience targeting; it really is its own beast. A specialist beast at that! But what if we told you, digital can still have a powerful influence on offline marketing, and in the case of ecommerce, in-store purchases. Exciting, right?

“In 2020, global e-commerce sales rose to $26.7 trillion with the Chinese, UK, US, Australian and Canadian markets leading the way. In fact, in less than six years the total share of global retail sales from e-commerce has nearly tripled – rising from 7.4% in 2015 to a projected 19.5% in 2021.” (bannerflow)

Online shopping and offline shopping (in-store) can feel somewhat foreign to one another. Online can see endless hours of browsing, many items added to basket with no intention of completing checkout, only to receive your purchases and send back 8/10. But regardless of whether you’re as indecisive as me… online shopping offers immense flexibility. It offers shoppers the chance to explore different colours, shapes and sizes in the comfort of their own home. It also allows the time to research brands and businesses we want to support with our custom:

“More people are buying online than ever before. Since the pandemic began, 46% of UK consumers purchased a product online that they had previously only ever purchased in store – with the biggest growth coming from consumers aged 45-54.” (bannerflow)

Offline shopping still has the same result, but the physical experience is also important to some audiences. To be able to feel fabrics, see dimensions in person, and to have a human interaction in store can be the difference between a sale, or no sale. And ultimately, since covid restrictions have eased and life feels freer, the High Street is showing positive signs of recovery:

“Retail sales volumes fell by 3.7% in December 2021 but were 2.6% higher than their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels.” (ONS.GOV)

 

So, while online vs offline can feel worlds apart, brands who are embracing the connection between online and offline are seeing huge success in the retail / ecommerce space. Digital Marketing is so refined now and the data available on buyers from the likes of Google and Facebook Pixel are giving intelligence on buyer behaviours never seen before in history. Brands can now map out their customer journey from touch point one through to cash in bank, and ensure they remove any friction in that journey (both online and offline) to enhance brand awareness, increase sales, and prioritise brand loyalty.

Ultimately when you pair the value of digital’s insights, targeting and audience analysis, and then use that to tailor in-store experiences and content that you know your buyers will respond positively to. Well, that’s the sweet spot!

 

Big brands like Patagonia have seen strong footfall from successful online campaigns, and if an outdoor clothing and accessories brand can do it – we believe others can too! You know them, they famously put ‘purpose before profit’ to the extent they once ran an ad in the New York Times on Black Friday which read ‘Don’t buy this jacket.’ (bannerflow)

Their Google display ads embody this ethos of offering the best products, causing no unnecessary harm, and implementing solutions to the environmental crisis; with messaging like ‘Buy less, demand more’ and ‘Can these shorts help prevent climate change?’ Patagonia is a brand centred around purpose. With e-commerce marketing campaigns designed to amplify this, Patagonia ensure they are always speaking in a language their customers want to hear. And that success has translated to in-store success too.

 

A client Loud Mouth have partnered with to drive both online and offline sales, is a leading retail / ecommerce brand. One of the biggest names in Home Décor in Scotland and Ireland, the brand has shown exceptional agility in the pandemic and their commitment to digital is still driving revenue in-store to this day.

When the pandemic hit and stores had to close indefinitely, Loud Mouth Media helped them pivot their sales strategy and as a result, took their online performance to a whole new level. We proudly managed to generate the following results during a pandemic:

  • Increased number of online Transactions by 338%
  • Increased Website Revenue by 401%

But as restrictions eased, there was a global dip in ecommerce sales. People were leaving their homes and the High Street suddenly went back to its former glory. To ensure we maintained consistent sales and protected the brand from being forever vulnerable to changing socioeconomic conditions; we then introduced an online / offline strategy. We now track footfall through Google and use average instore conversion rates and order values to show the revenue driven instore by our online activity. The result? Increased revenue and brand awareness from new audiences when using the strengths of digital to influence in-store sales.

Key areas to explore in digital to help drive in-store sales:

  • Brand awareness campaigns
  • YouTube Advertising – Clear call to actions and relevant copy.
  • Tailored content – To segmented audience types, make the effort to customize it all.
  • Ongoing keyword analysis – Use the data to your advantage, see what works, and allocate budget accordingly.

Ultimately, both online and offline are here to stay. And as markets awaken post-pandemic, innovations across both will only enhance the benefits for buyers. So, digital can influence much more than we could have ever imagined a decade ago… what’s ahead for the retail / ecommerce sector? I guess we’ll have to wait and see – pass the e-popcorn!

 

Loud Mouth Media are a multi-award winning Digital Performance Agency with expertise in PPC, SEO, Social Advertising, Ecommerce, Performance Creative, Digital Strategy and Video Marketing. Get in touch with our expert team here.

Sign up for our newsletter here