Data Strategy & Advanced Analytics

Online interaction, offline buying – What’s the connection?

A global multichannel retailer, which generates the majority of its sales in stationary retail, wanted to know exactly how its online measures impacted offline retail sales within the German market. Its marketing strategy includes online measures such as its website and a regular newsletter aimed at directing users to its online platform. The company asked FELD M for support in gaining insights into the gap between the customers’ online experience and their offline shopping at its bricks-and-mortar stores. This knowledge should provide a solid basis for further strategic decisions on the development of the website.

To get the big picture, the project involved:

  • Analysis of approximately 330,000 datasets within two weeks
  • Identifying the percentage of customers visiting the website before and after buying
  • Enabling the client to gauge the influence of online measures on offline purchases

Making customers identifiable

Together with the client, we determined that bridging the online-offline gap would require making the customer identifiable both online on the website and offline at the point of sale (POS). A customer card with a unique ID issued as part of the retailer’s loyalty program made this possible. If the customer subscribed to the newsletter, their ID was transferred and recorded with each visit to the website. In addition, customers had the option of entering the ID when placing an online order. The ID could then be synchronized with the visitor ID via the web analytics tool (Adobe Analytics).

Proven interaction between online and offline

We determined that, since the customer ID is also stored in the customer relationship management (CRM) system, the data from both systems (web analytics & CRM) could be merged. Data points from the CRM could be provided by the POS (for example, the purchase), allowing insights into which interaction took place when. By linking these data points, it was possible for the first time to check whether users researched online before buying offline.

Our analysis showed that 39% of the user group surveyed visited the retailer’s website either before or after shopping at a retail outlet. In 72% of cases the website visit took place within seven days before or after the offline purchase. About 33% of customers made a purchase both online and offline during the analysis period. Now the retailer can easily gauge the influence of online measures on offline purchases – and make strategic decisions accordingly.