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Omnichannel Tools That Combine Online and Offline Measurement Strategies

Understanding customer behavior is essential when creating omnichannel marketing strategies. These days, there are numerous technologies that analyze customers, but there are also plenty of challenges to overcome. You must be able to collect data in a way that respects customer privacy and complies with GDPR standards. Then, you have to know how to integrate online and offline data to provide clear results.

With trends like ROPO (research online, purchase offline) and showrooming (when customers check out products in a store then buy online), what can retailers do to correlate this data? This is where an omnichannel strategy come into play. Not only does an omnichannel customer experience reduce friction so that customers can access products on any channel, but it makes it easier to measure and optimize the customer journey.

A measurement strategy must be fed by both digital and in-store data. Once you collect all this data, what’s the best way to unify your measurements of online and physical store visits? In this post, we will discuss two of the best tools for omnichannel retail that our online analytics consulting department found in a study (Spanish) they performed.

Two tools for measuring online and offline in an omnichannel context

Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program, whether it’s with a physical or virtual card, can give customers discounts or allow them to collect points. The main benefit for companies is that it allows them to access specific information about online versus offline shopping transactions. It also keeps track of the way customers interact with the brand on different retail channels, as well as how regularly they interact with certain channels.

To implement a loyalty program in the digital world, you need to get people to sign up first. You can offer something to users in exchange for the first step of creating an account. When a user logs in before using your website, you can collect valuable information from them. In the offline world, transactions in the store need to be recorded and sent to Google Analytics through a measurement protocol. The Universal Analytics Measurement Protocol is a tool that analyzes interactions that happen offline or on mobile apps related to the business, such as how often people open an email.

Following this procedure allows you to cross reference data to find patterns and connections that provide more exact data on how efficient your touch points and ROPO levels are within your omnichannel strategy.

Store Visits

This Google function estimates store visits based on data from users with location services activated that visit the store during a specific time period. It is only available in beta for GA 360 accounts with Google Signals activated and connected Google Ads accounts with at least 90% of their locations verified in Google My Business.

Even though it is only an estimate, the numbers from Store Visits provide offline retail analytics data that can be useful, such as the number of users that visit the website then visit the store, and what percentage of total visitors that represents.

Thanks to the last non-direct click function, the Store Visits system lets you see which channels are the main sources of store visits, since it records the last place the customer clicked before entering the physical store. This information in the context of an omnichannel strategy is very useful.

As you can see, data collected by these tools can be very helpful for understanding customer behavior and for connecting online and offline marketing. In addition, it lets you extract information about the level and efficiency of the connections between channels while complying with data protection laws and respecting customer privacy. This data is precisely what will detect and fix friction points. The most important thing, after all, is to be able to measure data and extract knowledge that has a positive impact on your business.

Guiomar Fernandez