As lockdown eases, is ‘online only’ the best way to spend your Shopper Marketing budget?

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By Rhys Jones

Is online the future of shopper marketing infographic

As lockdown restrictions start to ease this week, many marketers will be eagerly watching how consumers adapt their shopping habits and whether we see a gradual return to pre-covid habits, which will determine where best to invest their marketing budgets.

A recent report by McKinsey already predicted many people will revert back to shopping in-store rather than online, as the vaccine roll out continues apace and more people return to offices and other workplaces.

I therefore thought it would be useful to review some recent client activity to see how online only Shopper Campaigns compared to their ‘Retail Only’ and also ‘Omnichannel’ counterparts.

Unsurprisingly, Online only campaigns tended to deliver the best overall ROI thanks to a combination of cost efficiency and the ability to better target consumers. However, with over 60% of retail sales still coming from physical stores – and this figure likely to increase post-lockdown –  over indexing on your online campaigns clearly leaves some big missed opportunities.

I then turned my attention to how Shopper Activity within physical retail stores performed when digital activity was also included in the mix and the results were quite staggering: For every type of physical retail activity examined, ROIs increased by up to 3x where digital was also included in the campaign mix.

A true Omnichannel strategy should therefore be the goal of any brand, if they are looking to fully maximise their return on investment in the new retail marketplace.