Written by Adam Troudart,
Content Manager at Umbrella
The average American earns $40K per year and spends the majority of that income locally, with only 9 percent spent on the internet.
In other words, 96% of offline sales start online, yet 90% occur in local businesses. With smartphones in play, this number is increasing.
Local businesses and marketing agencies are struggling to bridge the gap between the online-to-offline (O2O) gap, so far without much success. TechCrunch already valued the O2O market as a trillion dollar opportunity.
As you’re about to read, leading companies such as Google, Facebook and Starbucks have also identified how crucial it is to pair the online and offline customer experience.
Over the last two years they’ve been investing a fortune in O2O (online to offline) technology, purchasing companies, improving their advertising platforms, and much more.
Here’s something to think about while reading - how cool would it be if YOU could be the one helping a local business attract online clients in droves?
Facebook offers Store Visits & Offline Conversions
Back in 2016, Facebook added two O2O solutions to their advertising platform, helping marketers connect Facebook Ad metrics to offline results.
Store Visits help businesses drive customers into brick and mortar stores, using advanced technology.
Offline Conversions help businesses track when transactions occur in your physical business after engaging with your Facebook Ads. Coupled with Locations and ad formats with location-based relevance, these tools can make a dramatic impact in store-visits for any local or multi-location business.
Google integrates Local Inventory in ads, updates Store Visit measurements
In line with its local search focus, Google announced various online-to-offline tools every local marketer can benefit from:
Local inventory tie-in to Google Assistant & Display Ads - retailers can now showcase their local inventory in display ads and in Google Assistant so customers can see if their desired product is available. In other words, you could ask Google “Where can I buy (enter your favorite book) nearby?” and get a local list of inventory results on your phone.
Better reporting of store visits in AdWords - Google added reporting for impression-based store visits, alongside three new reports: Time lag report, showing the time between an ad click and a store visit, Demographic report & New vs. returning customer report.
Snapchat buys Placed, releases Snap to Store
In attempt to get better analytics to advertisers, and tie-in advertising dollars to foot traffic, Snapchat introduced Snap to Store last year. The social giant’s location-targeting attempt comes from the Snapchatters themselves, making it more organic and interactive than other technologies.
To help scale its measurement systems, Snapchat acquired ad measurement startup Placed for an estimated $125M.
Starbucks' O2O revolution saves the day
Following a 28% decline in profit after the 2009 economic slowdown, Starbucks had to get back to the drawing board and rethink its strategy.
The result has been an innovative O2O strategy which generated a record $4.9 annual revenue.
Starbucks uses various O2O tools:
Awareness - the company's website includes a store locator, menus and more.
Convenience - Mobile apps allow consumers to track previous orders and order ahead of time and track orders in real time or even tip your barista,
Social media - the company’s Facebook and Instagram profiles feature many consumer submissions, photos and suggestions.
Loyalty - accessible through the Starbucks app, Starbucks Rewards allow can be redeemed in physical stores for free foods and drinks.
Now, if these massive companies are investing so much in O2O, how can you grab a slice of that pie?
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