Manu Mathew
Manu Mathew 1 November 2018

Four Reasons Why Retailers Need Multi-touch Attribution

The UK’s long hot summer saw retailers perform better than expected, with sales rising 0.2% for the month of August, but times are still challenging with numerous well-known names from Evans Cycles to Claire’s Accessories reporting a downturn.

At the same time, the retail landscape is evolving rapidly. Lines between online and offline are blurring with ecommerce giants such as Amazon increasing their offline presence, and traditionally offline luxury brands such as Chanel investing in digital experiences. The shopping journey is becoming increasingly complex, criss-crossing multiple online and offline channels and devices, with consumers now checking an average of 12 sources before making a purchase decision.

Retailers need a competitive edge to succeed in this difficult and dynamic environment. If they want to drive revenue and growth, retailers must deliver relevant experiences and offers for customers and prospects as they move across an increasingly tangled path. But in reality, most retail marketers have an incomplete understanding of what motivates their consumers.

Technology has created a huge opportunity for retailers to learn more about consumers and their path to purchase. Advanced methods of measuring marketing effectiveness, such as multi-touch attribution, can help retailers understand the role each touchpoint has on broad and deep segments of consumers with much greater accuracy, so they can make more effective marketing decisions.

Here are four ways multi-touch attribution (MTA) can help retailers bring consumers to their site and to their door:

Bridging digital and physical experiences

A big challenge for retailers is mastering the online-offline connection. Most marketers believe that their online promotions contribute to offline conversions and vice versa, but they might not know how much credit to give each touchpoint for a sale.

MTA gathers person-level data from addressable online (display, paid search, etc.) and offline (direct mail flyers, catalogues, etc.) channels and centralises that data in a single hub. By connecting the consumer journey across channels and assigning fractional credit to all the touchpoints that influenced a conversion, MTA provides retailers with much greater clarity into what’s really happening as a result of their marketing activities, and where to allocate spend to drive both online and offline sales.

Optimising in near real-time

MTA not only bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds, it also allows campaigns to be optimised while they are still in-flight. MTA models that are updated daily reveal the nuances of what drove each day’s conversions – essential in a world where consumer behaviour changes by the day – giving retail marketers the ability to reallocate budgets to their best performing tactics and ditch those that aren’t working. This near real-time optimisation not only eliminates waste, but also ensures marketers’ decision-making is as dynamic as their consumers.

Achieving more with less

While retailers need to diversify their marketing efforts across an ever-growing range of channels and tactics, media budgets aren’t increasing in line. In challenging times, retail marketers are expected to make budgets work harder and achieve more with less, getting better results at a lower cost. By optimising with close to real-time insight and allocating budget to the most effective channels and tactics, marketers can drive better results and minimise wasted ad spend. MTA is proven to drive 20-30% average increases in media efficiency and ROI, which can equate to millions of pounds of savings for major retailers.

Enhancing the consumer experience

Consumers feel greater loyalty towards retail brands that understand their wants and needs, and customised experiences can help to build those strong relationships. Because MTA tracks and measures activity at person-level, it lays the foundation for a people-based marketing approach that treats consumers as real people, not theoretical personas.

By placing the customer at the centre of any marketing strategy and identifying the messages and offers that resonate best, MTA allows retailers to deliver meaningful experiences that are relevant and personalised. By applying insight to elevate the consumer experience, marketers will drive engagement, increase purchases, and lay the groundwork to build long-term loyalty.

In these challenging times, retailers need a competitive edge to stay ahead and avoid becoming another big-name casualty. By revealing the impact that marketing activities and spend have on consumer behaviour, loyalty and experience, MTA delivers the advantage today’s retailers need. 

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