With an eye on driving more people into its local stores, SportScheck used local inventory ads to get front and center of mobile searchers. After rolling out local inventory ad campaigns for its in-store inventory, the brand saw an upswing in both in-store traffic and offline revenue.

Goals

  • Create a seamless shopping experience for omnichannel customers
  • Boost in-store visits and revenue within a defined cost-revenue ratio
  • Attribute store visits and offline revenue to paid search efforts

Approach

  • Used local inventory ads to reach users with relevant, location-specific product information
  • Set up local inventory ad campaigns with geotargeting around each brick-and-mortar store and increased mobile bids
  • Adopted store visit conversions and Google Analytics to measure ad impact on in-store visits and revenue

Results

  • +108% increase in in-store visits at constant store visit rate
  • Offline revenue more than doubled for traffic driven by local inventory ads
Published
March 2017
Topics

Whether they love to go jogging, hiking, skating, or snowboarding, millions of people every year shop at SportScheck, Germany’s leading sports retailer. As "the meeting point for active people," SportScheck makes it easy for customers to shop both on- and offline with traditional catalogs, a sizeable online store, a mobile app, and many brick-and-mortar locations throughout Germany.

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The company noticed that a lot of shoppers were jumping back and forth between its online e-commerce site and its brick-and-mortar locations. They would find and research products online, and then head to the store to make the purchase. That made local inventory ads a perfect fit for SportScheck to reach, engage with, and measure customers across every channel.

Using local inventory ads to stand out for on-the-go searchers

Imagine a cyclist who's getting ready for a big race and, during one last training session, her bike blows a flat. She needs a new tire—fast. So while she's out getting breakfast the day before the race, she picks up her smartphone to see what's available in nearby stores. In that moment, local inventory ads hit the sweet spot of providing convenience for the cyclist and showcasing the brand’s available products. She can get information about what products are available nearby and has the option to purchase right there online.

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To promote its full in-store inventory online, SportScheck ran individual local inventory ad campaigns with geotargeting set to a five-kilometer radius around each store's location. Then, the marketing team increased mobile bidding to ensure the ads got in front of relevant shoppers on the go.

"As a multi-channel retailer, it was important for us to reach customers across every channel. Local inventory ads were a great way to reach our customers with relevant product information when they went online to search."

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After a user clicks one of SportScheck's local inventory ads, they're sent to a Google-hosted "local storefront" page—a robust digital storefront experience. Right from the storefront, users can view their local store's available inventory, compare prices, check opening hours, find directions, and call the store directly. And when they're ready to make a purchase, customers can complete their transactions in SportScheck's e-commerce shop, at the local store, or use the "buy online, pick up in store" option.

"As a multi-channel retailer, it was important for us to reach customers across every channel," said Rahel Götz, SportScheck's team lead for online performance marketing. "Local inventory ads were a great way to reach our customers with relevant product information when they went online to search."

Gauging local inventory ads’ online-to-offline impact

After rolling out its local inventory ad campaigns, SportScheck used store visit conversions to see how effective the new ads were in driving customers to local stores. Store visit conversions—which measure the aggregated statistics of Google users who click on a company's search ads and then visit a local store—gave the brand a clearer view of digital's role in its customers' full path to purchase.

SportScheck also used Google Analytics to monitor key metrics on its local storefront page, like the share of engaged users by device, how many people used the click-to-call buttons, and how many looked for a store's directions. Leveraging these insights allowed the brand to continually optimize its campaigns toward in-store visits and resulting offline sales.

SportScheck scores big with doubled store visits and revenue

In just seven weeks post-launch, SportScheck saw a 108% increase in in-store visits, and offline revenue more than doubled for traffic generated by the local inventory ad campaigns. Adding store visit conversions to its measurement mix also showed the brand the power of digital in driving tangible offline results.

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Today, SportScheck's online and offline storefronts no longer live in silos. "By helping boost offline traffic and providing our team with location-specific performance data in our online campaigns, local inventory ads ultimately brought both worlds together and strengthened our image as an evolving, multi-channel retailer," concluded Götz.