Petit Bateau, the French clothing brand, wanted to understand the online-to-offline behaviour of its customers. With insights from Google Analytics, it was able to understand how mobile and online shopping drives conversions – and how to allocate its digital marketing budget better.

THE CHALLENGE

Petit Bateau customers in France can shop in 153 physical shops and on Petit-bateau.fr. While the brand knew that many people research products online before going into a physical shop to make a purchase, it didn't understand the online-to-offline behaviour of its customer base. A significant number of online users log in to its website using the company's loyalty card, which makes it possible to match the traffic of logged-in users with subsequent in-store transactions made with a loyalty card. So, it used Google Analytics to develop an innovative study.

THE APPROACH

Petit Bateau uploaded 36 days of in-store data into Google Analytics and discovered that digital played a significant role in driving in-store purchases: forty-four per cent of in-store buyers visited the site within seven days before making their purchases, and 9% of in-store buyers visited the site on the same day as their purchase in the physical shop. And when the basket value is high, consumers conduct up to 3X more research online than when the value is low.

Further analysis revealed the online-to-offline effect was particularly important on mobile. With Petit Bateau's mobile traffic share currently at 34% and still growing, mobile visitors converted within stores at an 11% higher rate than desktop visitors, and their in-store spend was 8% greater.

Using Google Analytics to measure online-to-offline purchase behaviour, Petit Bateau was able to recalculate AdWords return on ad spend – which proved to be 6X higher with in-store sales incorporated.

By using Google Analytics to measure online-to-offline purchase behaviour, Petit Bateau was able to better understand the impact of online marketing on in-store sales and use the data to recalculate AdWords return on ad spend – which proved to be 6X higher with in-store sales incorporated.

Taking in-store transactions into consideration in this way enables Petit Bateau to optimise its digital marketing programmes, make more informed decisions around media budget allocation, and design better experiences for consumers moving between digital and physical shopping environments.

With agency support from NetBooster, Petit Bateau has been shifting budgets from offline to online marketing, with a significant focus on driving new customers through generic search terms. The company increased investment on Google Search by 60% year over year, mainly financed by the communications team. It also increased mobile bids by 20%. As a result, the mobile share of its search budget reached 43%, which is above the share of mobile traffic. Meanwhile, internal communications are helping shop teams understand digital's role in the customer journey and to appreciate the importance of encouraging digital shopping, browsing, comparing and buying.