Are advertiser’s underestimating the full potential of Online Ads? Online advertisers wonder how online advertising affects their in-store sales. In-store sales are often influenced by offline research, but measuring just how much can be tricky.
To quantify this impact, Google partnered with an outside firm to conduct what we like to call ‘online to store experiments‘. They conducted these controlled experiments by saturating test markets with online advertising for particular products. Then they compared in-store sales with these products to in-store sales in control markets to determine whether online ads lifted in-store sales. Time and again, results show positive in-store sales lift and return on ad spend — some up to 15 times. Turns out, the advertisers did see that their online ad spend does correlate with increased sales lift.
In one case, a large advertiser wanted to see if running search ads on generic keywords would influence in-store sales. Test stores saw a 1.7 percent lift in new in-store conversions with a positive return on ad spend. In another experiment, a US retailer targeted 59 selected test markets with keyword specific to one product category. They saw a two percent lift in in-store sales. Stores that typically underperformed in the category saw lifts of 5.3 percent. Overall, they reported a three dollar return on every ad dollar spent. Another large retailer saw an overall lift in sales of 1.5 percent. For one keyword targeted product category, they saw a 3.6 percent lift. Thanks to the halo effect, they saw a one percent lift in all other categories for an impressive ten to one return on spend.
And finally, a national retailer wanted to see if online coupons would drive in-store sales. Online coupons resulted in a 2.5 percent lift in promoted categories, and a 1.6 percent overall lift. Online ads prove to be greater than or equal to circulars in boosting sales with another incredible ten to one return on ad spend.
When the advertisers have questions, Google answers them with solid numbers. Does online advertising have an effect on offline sales, too? These experiments point to a resounding yes.