How to Drive Online to In-Store Retail Sales with Digital Marketing

The increased use of mobile devices while shopping has made location-based mobile advertising more attractive to brands and retailers because it targets users who have a propensity to make a purchase. In fact, 70 percent of retail executives plan on using location-based marketing by 2021. Though incorporating an effective omnichannel strategy can be challenging, brands and retailers often are misaligned which can be detrimental to the omnichannel efforts. That said, there are successful online and in-store blended experiences we can look to as examples.



Retail sales influenced by mobile devices have increased from 5 percent in 2013 to 37 percent in 2016, leading more businesses to use geo-conquesting, geo-fencing and geo-cookies to target consumers as they utilize their mobile search browsers. Business are also creating mobile apps which notify consumers of deals and sales when they are nearby the store or nearby competitors.


Mobile App Success Stories

Mobile apps are a great way to drive in-store traffic as they both support and enable customer conversion.


Mirror the In-Store Experience

Some businesses use their mobile app to mimic the in-store experience. Sephora’s app allows consumers to virtually try on available beauty products so they can test out samples before they go to the store. The app also allows them to add the products they want to sample in person in a “beauty bag” and to book in-store appointments.


In-Store Coupons and Deals

Target’s Cartwheel app is a great example of a successful shopping app which specifically caters to in-store customers. The app alerts customers of both deals and coupons that are currently active at their local store. It also offers small discounts on daily necessities which leads to customers buy more. In 2015, the app generated $3 billion in revenue for mass retailer.


Geo-Conquesting Rival Companies

The use of geo-fencing and geo-conquesting has allowed Whole Foods to target consumers who are not only near one of their locations, but also consumers are near competing grocers. Whole Food’s campaign had a 4.69 percent post-click conversion rate versus the U.S. average of 1.43 percent.


While executing a location-based mobile marketing campaign may seem like a daunting task, the rewards are hard to ignore. Our agency has found success in location-based mobile marketing with our automotive industry client. By utilizing geo-conquesting, geo-fencing, a geo-cookie and creative content promoting sales, our client experienced significant leads and appointments with click-through rates above benchmark reports of $.40!