Is digital the new black?

April 2016

Retailers who understand their audience’s needs and preferences can personalise their online and offline promotions and marketing for greater conversions.

In the fiercely-competitive retail fashion world the winners will be those who really understand their customers and can tailor messages to reach them in those moments that matter.

People are increasingly living their lives online and especially via smartphones – the ‘remote controls for life’ that help users bridge the online and offline worlds.

In the luxury fashion sector, 75% of purchases are influenced by at least one digital touchpoint, says McKinsey. has successfully expanded from bricks and mortar to embrace ecommerce. According to CEO Ulric Jerome, 85% of’s turnover now came from online – and 42% of this from mobile. In-store, sales assistants are briefed to help purchase via iPads and some stores are seeing more than 50% of sales through these devices.

"In 2016 a quarter of all UK Google Search traffic will be audience targeted and some advertisers could cover up to 70-80%"

Eileen Naughton, MD UK and Ireland, Google

River Island is a retailer developing an omnichannel strategy for all customer touchpoints. Customer Director Josie Roscop says data is vital to understanding how mobile is influencing store purchase and to planning marketing activity. The big challenge for retailers is to integrate the data generated by all touchpoints to build a single customer view (SCV).

Insights drawn from a SCV can help craft personalised experiences for online audiences that can be carried over into offline conversations when they walk in-store.

The ability to measure each touchpoint along the customer journey and understand how online investment informs offline store visits and sales is also vital. Tools like Google’s Store Visits can help identify how online investment translates into footfall and purchase.

With the help of Google audience solutions, retailers have insight into whether people searching are new prospects or loyal customers, whether they are first time visitors to the website or app or returning. This means retailers now have the ability to target audiences with greater precision by defining bidding and creative according to their relationship with the searcher. Managing Director UK & Ireland Eileen Naughton makes the point “If you know search, you know people.”

At Ad Week Europe this year Naughton predicted that by 2016 a quarter of all UK Google Search traffic will be audience targeted, and “some advertisers could cover up to 70-80% of their Search investment with Audience data soon."

Forward-thinking retailers need to overlay demographic data with the contextual data that search provides to ensure they are serving their audiences with the products and services that will help build a deeper relationship and drive lifetime value from the customer.

Winning the Moments that Matter: Right Person, Right Message, Right Time, Every Time