Despite being a multi-channel retailer, Bensons for Beds historically only measured the effects of online marketing on online sales. With no way of assessing the impact of digital activities on in-store sales, it wasn’t possible to accurately calculate the return on digital ad spend and to subsequently optimise marketing budget

About
Retailer of beds, mattresses and bedroom furniture
Part of Steinhoff UK Retail Limited
270 stores
Goals
Encourage customers into stores at scale
Drive in-store sales
Approach
Activated Store Visit reporting in Google AdWords
Installed Eddystone Bluetooth beacons
Created Local Inventory Ad campaigns
Adopted Store Sales Direct
Results
170% higher ROAS when considering offline revenue
Store Sales Direct revealed that store visitors whose journey started with a Google paid Search click are worth 2.3X the average store visitor to Bensons
YouTube cost per store visit comparable to that of Search campaigns

Together with their agency iCrossing, Bensons for Beds wanted to shift the mindset from stores and ecommerce competing against each other to a new strategy in which stores and ecommerce would cooperate on business objectives to drive footfall and sales.

The team embraced Google measurement solutions to help change the mindset and better understand the value of their digital marketing investment. First, Bensons for Beds activated Store Visit reporting in their Google AdWords account to produce valuable new data. AdWords calculates Store Visit conversions based on aggregated, anonymised data from hundreds of millions of Google users who opt in to share Location History, click on an ad and visit a business location.

“By not taking into account offline store visits we knew that we were undervaluing and underinvesting in Search”, explains Steve Webster, Head of E-Commerce. “Store Visits gave us the tools to accurately prove how much footfall we were sending into stores each week.”

To increase confidence in Store Visits data and collect store-level insights, Bensons for Beds also collaborated with Google to install Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons in their stores. Beacons provide highly precise location signals, and provide the infrastructure to deliver proximity-based experiences to users’ smartphones.

With new data and insights in hand, the team saw that some categories and keywords had previously been undervalued when viewed from an ecommerce-only perspective. As a result, they increased investment in these areas. At the same time, they also activated new online-to-offline formats such as Local Inventory Ads. These ads enabled the brand to showcase product information, live in-store inventory, opening times and directions to nearby users who were searching on Google.

Bensons for Beds expanded this omnichannel strategy to other channels like YouTube, using Store Visits to measure the offline impact of their TrueView ads. This showed that the cost per store visit from YouTube was on par with that of their generic Search campaigns.

Once the team had established the impact of their Google investment on driving footfall, they wanted to understand the real effect of that footfall on sales. By adopting Store Sales Direct, which uses anonymised CRM data, they were able to precisely measure the revenue associated with in-store customers who engaged with Google Search ads. They found that store visitors who click on either a generic paid Search ad or Shopping Ad are 90% more likely to make a purchase than the average store visitor, and have 20% higher average order value.

"Store Visits gave us the tools to accurately prove how much footfall we were sending into stores each week"

– Steve Webster, Head of E-Commerce, Benson for Beds

“With the insight we gain from Store Visits and Store Sales Direct we are able to more efficiently optimise Bensons’ campaigns towards footfall”, affirms Oscar Paoliello, Paid Media Strategist for iCrossing. “For example we saw that Local Inventory Ads are twice as effective at sending users into a store, so we’ve increased investment in these ads significantly.”

With Bensons for Beds now able to measure how offline revenue is affected by online marketing, the team estimates the return on digital ad spend is 170% higher than previously thought. Store Sales Direct data shows that store customers whose journey started with a Google paid Search click are worth 2.3 times as much as the average store visitor to Bensons. This has driven a fundamental change in the brand’s media planning and omnichannel strategy, with online and offline no longer competing but instead working together to deliver more efficient marketing and ultimately increased revenue.

"The return on digital ad spend is 170% higher. Store Sales Direct data shows that store customers whose journey started with a Google paid Search click are worth 2.3 times as much as the average store visitor to Bensons"