Your little guide to creating performant drive-to-store campaigns
30
September
2021
  Reading time:  
6
min
There's no denying it: today, browsing omnichannel environments has become a reflex for many consumers. Thanks to this change in their target’s habits, drive-to-store is becoming a key lever for many companies. On the one hand, traditional retailers are becoming more digital, with the aim of attracting Internet users to their physical stores; while, on the other hand, e-commerce pure players are "physicalizing", aiming at diversifying their customer acquisition and loyalty channels.

Why should you launch your drive-to-store strategy?

Whether your goal is to retain your existing customers by bringing them back to your store, or to attract new customers to your physical outlets, drive-to-store is a winning strategy. 

Why? First of all, because physical sales are still a major driver of revenue generation. According to the National Retail Federation, 90% of retail sales are now made in stores. And cross-channel customers (i.e., shoppers who use both online and offline channels) spend between 15 to 30% more in-store than single-channel customers. 

But that's not all. Drive-to-store is also an interesting type of campaign, because your customers expect advertisers to offer them this type of marketing strategy! They spend an average of 4h every day on their mobile (70% of Internet traffic coming from mobile phones), and 80% of mobile users accept geolocation on their smartphone. 

What's more, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day. A strong sign that your potential customers are open to this type of advertising campaign - if it is well done. 

In short, online and offline channels are highly complementary; and embracing this omnichannel trend can become a major growth lever for your brand!

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How does drive-to-store marketing concretely work?

The term “drive-to-store” refers to a set of digital marketing techniques that rely upon the location of the target via its smartphone

So to launch your drive-to-store campaign, you need this location data. There are several ways you can fetch that data: 

  • Either through the SDK (via an in-app tracking): this method that has the advantage of retrieving data at regular time intervals, 24/7. It allows you to be more precise in the geolocation of your ad campaigns. However, this SDK must necessarily be linked to an app, and consumes a lot of battery on the target's cell phone. 
  • Either through the Bid Request, which contains 60% of the geolocation data, and is a less intrusive way to retrieve this data.
  • Or through data from third-party partners (e.g. AdSquare), which can be activated: for example, you can use this method to bring up declarative information that can be used in programmatic advertising.

Once you’ve collected the geolocation of your targets, you need to reach the right audience with the right message, in the catchment areas of the stores where the brand is distributed, at the right time, on the right medium and at the right price


What are the key steps of a drive-to-store strategy?

Want to launch your own drive-to-store marketing campaign? Discover the different steps you need to go through to ensure a maximum conversion rate

Step 1: Target your audience

As with any digital strategy, the first step in implementing a drive-to-store strategy is to accurately target your audience.

To do this, you need to know your audiences well, and can select different types of targeting criteria:

  • Geolocation, by IP or GPS, which is crucial to reach your targets locally 
  • Traditional socio-demographic targeting criteria (age, gender...)
  • Intentional targeting criteria, i.e. data that proves that your target has an appetite for your brand or your products: visits to your website or your app, previous purchases from your stores...
  • Contextual targeting criteria, for example through the location of DOOH screens near your store, or through the Waze application

Step 2: Choose your drive-to-store advertising formats 

Building your drive-to-store strategy then means choosing the advertising formats that will arouse the most interest in your targets, to attract them to your physical points of sale. 

Good news is that there are plenty of formats you can look into!

The "store locator" format. It allows you to immerse the user in an enriched experience matching the brand's design, by locating the store nearest to him or her on an interactive map. You can add this map in your ads in carousel format.

The Instamap format. It allows you to see the store directly encapsulated in your display ad creation.

 drive-to-store campaign - instamap format

The e-couponing format. It allows marketers to reach a captive target and to promote a product or a service by offering a unique promotional code. This format is particularly interesting to track sales coming from a digital campaign.

 drive-to-store campaign - e-couponing format.


The takeover by Waze format. It allows one to reach an ultra attentive and moving target at the right moment, by guiding the mobile user directly to the point of sale, from the Waze app. 

The drive-to-store by Facebook format. This is a native Facebook format, which uses social media codes (such as likes or swipes) to encourage interaction and guide the target to the point of sale.

The drive-to-store by YouTube format (pre-roll). It increases traffic and in-store visits thanks to an engagement-friendly format that displays nearby stores under the video. 

The DCO Engaged by Gamned! format. It allows you to engage an ultra-affinity audience, at the best time and in the best place, in the form of a display that shows real-time promotions in the store closest to the user. To create a campaign based on the right format choices, think about the customer experience you want to offer, which should resonate with your brand image. But you should also make that choice according to the results you can acquire in terms of growth, in an ROI approach.

 drive-to-store campaign - DCO Engaged by Gamned! format


Step 3: Script your drive-to-store acquisition campaigns

The key to the success of your digital drive-to-store campaigns lies in creating A/B tests around these different formats, to test them, to see which ones generate the most return on investment for your brand. 

So take the time to script your campaigns, to define an optimal customer journey, which will generate the most action, and therefore traffic to your stores. 

Step 4: Optimize your web campaign for great performance

Once your campaign has been launched, don’t leave it running on its own: its regular optimization is crucial to maximize the overall performance of your campaign!

To do this, you can of course proceed manually, by observing the results on a daily basis. 

However, there are now techniques based on machine learning that can accompany you. How does it work? Each broadcasted ad enriches the data of the IA, which will then suggest optimizations. 

These optimizations based on machine learning make it possible to... 

  • Define a scoring of the profile of the reached mobile users, to always target more precisely your core audience 
  • Adjust the advertising pressure 
  • Optimize the advertisement media 
  • Script the next message that will be proposed to your target 

And, of course, your drive-to-store campaign is not optimal until you measure its effectiveness!

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How to measure the effectiveness of your drive-to-store campaigns?

To optimize your campaigns over time, and to identify the best practices to implement, you need to measure the performance of your campaigns, via the ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline).

In terms of drive-to-store strategy, you can measure several events: 

  • Purchases, via your CRM or a unique promotional code 
  • Calls to your stores, via a voice cookie or a call tracking system
  • Store visits themselves

Those KPIs help you streamline your campaigns.

But how do you measure the increment of your store visits? By conducting A/B tests:

  • Create two groups of the same size and type: on the one hand, a group of targets exposed to your drive-to-store ads, guiding them to a store A; on the other hand, a group of customers not exposed to these ads, going to a store B
  • You can then measure the number of incremental visits and the incremental visit rate, and estimate your campaign’s performance

In addition to these incremental visits, you can also measure in-store sales, thanks to the digitization of checkout data (with elements such as a loyalty card or an electronic receipt). 

Indeed, you can match the data exposed to the campaign with the unique identifier of the shopper in-store (for example, his email address) to get the sales volume and the in-store revenue to which the digital campaign has contributed. 

You now have in hand all the best tactics to implement your next drive-to-store campaign, and generate in-store conversions. 

Need help with your drive-to-store marketing efforts? Contact a Gamned! expert now, and get ready to implement a campaign that drives growth and brand awareness. 

Download our infographic!


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