Company & Industry News


How to Drive Foot Traffic to Stores for Last-Minute Holiday Deals

November 30, 2021 by Dan Dillon

  • Holiday Sales Forecast
  • Social Media and Location Targeting
  • How to Use Facebook Audiences for Your Goals 
  • Selling Geofence Marketing to Stakeholders 
  • Campaign Examples

Holiday Sales Forecast

Let me jump in with a little bit of crystal ball work with the help Bain and NRF. They recently reported holiday sales are going to reach a new record high this year of nearly eight hundred and sixty billion U.S. dollars. Now, just to put that into perspective, the entire year for retail is going to hit about four and a half-trillion dollars so fully one quarter. 

Nearly one-quarter of all of that is going to happen really between now and the end of the year. In case that does not sound like enough money to you, it’s actually 10 percent more than it was last year. And we know last year was a big year for e-commerce. We also know it was a big year for, of course, in-store sales for people who went out and, you know, pre-vaccine. But this year, people are vaccinated by and large and people are going back out to stores. 

What’s interesting about Bain’s analysis here is that they have broken out store sales versus e-commerce and mail order sales, catalog sales. 20 percent of all sales are going to be online and the other 600 billion plus dollars are going to happen in-store. This is why you need to get your shopper into the store so that you can hit every opportunity to sell to them. Of course, you want your share of these record numbers. How are you going to accomplish that? How are a lot of agencies and retailers going to do that? 


Social Media and Location Targeting

Social Media

Well, marketers going to do what we all do — they’re going to run ads on the big social platforms. We call these the big three, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. And this image here gives you a very clear view into how each platform compels people to buy stuff. 

Once upon a time, we saw ads on Facebook and we were annoyed that we would see ads on Instagram, and they were a novelty. Now we rely on these things, right? Like, we know that they’re so well-curated and our preferences are so well zeroed in on that we actually wait for the right ad to show up on Instagram. And we’re annoyed when they don’t show up because it’s no longer convenient for us to buy the thing we need. 

72 percent of us who are seeing stuff on Instagram are buying stuff straight from that feed from our favorite. 49 percent of us on Tik Tok are buying products that were either promoted or shown or demonstrated or worn on TikTok, so that’s roughly half of us. And surprisingly, Facebook is in third place with 41 percent of us buying from ads. But still, a large portion of us on Facebook are also buying products we’ve seen on the app. All of these platforms are very effective at moving consumer goods off of shelves. 


Location Targeting

Let’s talk for a minute about geofencing marketing what it is, why do we care and why? Frankly, this is the underpinning for your holiday marketing actions, right? In a nutshell, geofencing marketing is essentially placing a virtual perimeter around a building. You can do this for Starbucks and Nordstrom, Home Depot and Apple Store, or CarMax at Dollar General. Pick your logo, or even your neighborhood mom and pop. And then geofencing marketing software collects the mobile ad IDs that go into that store. 

Here’s how the location data is collected. We all have mobile devices in our pockets, and they’re all sharing GPS coordinates all the time because we’ve opted into location services. Geofencing marketing software enables you to get the device IDs that have gone into Starbucks, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ann Taylor, wherever you choose. Then, you can use those device IDs to surgically target and to those specific audiences. 

Geofencing marketing is an extremely powerful technology. Visiting real-world locations is an extremely compelling intent signal to be used for targeting. It’s all about driving, of course, conversions and in-store visits, and ultimately sales at the cashier. 


How to Use Facebook Audiences for Your Goals

Three Types of Facebook Audiences

There are three different types of audiences that you can use in your social ads on Facebook. The first is a core audience in which you can choose your audience based on demographics and interests. This is the most commonly used audience type. It is not easy to do! Here is a quick screengrab of me trying to build a core audience based on some demographics and interests. The struggle is real. 

Now, when it comes to interests targeting, it may not always be the most accurate. For example, Ducati Motorcycles has almost four million followers on their page, but how many of those people are actually in market for a motorcycle even want to buy a motorcycle to begin with? Maybe they just follow this page because they’re a fan of the brand. 

Similarly, Louis Vuitton has over twenty-four million followers on Facebook. But how many of those people actually have the expendable cash to spend on a $7000 raincoat or twenty-four hundred dollars pocketbook? So a couple of things to think about. There are other ways to target than just through interests. 

Another type of targeting is with lookalike audiences. You select your demographic, interested-based or custom audience then add a one percent or greater lookalike on top which expands your audience significantly. However, it may be matching the lookalike on audience attributes that are not relevant to you so it’s not always the best audience use.

Custom audiences are really where you’re going to eliminate your wasted ad spend, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here. Watch how easy it is to upload a custom audience in the screengrab below. Once the customer list file, in this case, a CSV of mobile ad IDs collected from a geofencing marketing software, the list matches to Facebook users and the audience is ready to be used within 24 hours. 

There’s more you can do with this custom audience. In order to further customize and refine your audience, you can add additional demographic or interest targeting on top of your custom audience. Keep in mind this will shrink your audience and may increase your CPM.  If the custom audience you are using is small and you want to increase it, you can create a lookalike audience on top. Another option is to combine more than one custom audience and use them in the same campaign. This works as long as you plan to message each segment in the same way.


Which Facebook Ad Type is Best? 

When it comes to selecting the right ad to drive in-store traffic, there are a few that may seem like the right one, and then there is the right one.

First, there’s the Traffic ad type. You may think “that’s it because I am trying to drive traffic to my stores”, but this ad type is for driving website traffic.  Perfect if you are just looking to drive someone to a specific landing page and want them to buy something online, but not if you want to measure in-store visits. 

Next, Conversions ad type. This isn’t the best either.  This ad type is great for when you want to sell via Facebook or through your e-commerce store, but again, not right for driving foot traffic conversions. Also found in the conversion ad group, Store Traffic.  This seems like it may be perfect, but it is deceiving! This ad type allows you to target those who live close to the location you are trying to drive them to, but it includes a lot of people who are not in the market and who do not meet your ideal customer profile.  

Finally, in the awareness ad group, there’s Reach. This is the ad type you want to use when using custom, location-based audiences. The reach ad type will reach as many people as possible in your audience. In this case, everyone in your custom audience of visitors to the specific locations you geofenced! This ad type is the key to reducing wasted ad spend and getting the most out of your ad buys. 


Selling Geofence Marketing to Stakeholders 

Measure What Matters

As a marketer, it’s critical to know how impressions, click-through rate, cost per click and engagement-level metrics are performing, Using those, you can continue to optimize creative, calls to action, and other tactical elements. But those metrics aren’t what the business cares about. Your business or the clients you serve want to know about store visits and, ultimately, sales.

When it comes to geofencing, you can tie ads and ad spend directly to store visits and correlate sales. That’s one of the key advantages of using location data in campaigns. Let’s say you retarget people who have shopped at Dollar General. Once you have location as a signal and target location visits as a goal, you can see where your Dollar General audience visits during and after your retargeting campaign. To get the ear of your business and keep your clients coming back, it’s critical to know what kind of foot traffic you’re driving. To correlate the sales your campaign has driven, simply multiply the average value per visit by the total number of visits. Dividing that top line number by ad spend gives total return on ad spend (ROAS).


Foot Traffic Attribution

So here’s an example of what that might look like. We think about it in two different ways. We think about it in terms of standard foot traffic attribution, which shows you foot traffic lifts the trend over a previous four week period or, in this case, twenty-six days on your slide. We also show you the number of raw conversions during the campaign period. So. And this is every day this number is updated. It’s not. At the end of the campaign, it was three thousand six hundred eight. It’s two hundred three thousand six hundred eight. Today, maybe tomorrow it’ll be four thousand one hundred and twenty-four. So that number is constantly being renewed based on the devices that are seen at the locations you are targeting. And then some additional metrics to understand the kind of household which you’re getting and some more marketing-focused metrics. 


Pixel-Based Foot Traffic Attribution

We also think about it in terms of pixel-based foot traffic attribution, which is much more specific. That’s to say your pixel and out your pixel, a piece of media and everybody who was served that ad then takes some action to go to a store. So this is the first report is I ran a campaign and this foot traffic happened. The second report, the pixel-based attribution, is I ran a campaign. A bunch of people saw my ad and I can associate the revisit of those people based on their ad view. So it’s actually correlating ad views to store visits. So it’s much more specific. And you can see, of course, similar charts, but a little more specific because you’ve got better, better data and better ingredients in the campaign. Mix 13 percent for traffic. Lift 16 conversions in this period. 

And then again, the number of marketing metrics on the far right and the chart at the top and dark blue with the light blue line or daily conversions to a specific location, so you can get a feel for what geofencing does for you in terms of real store visits to get past the marketing metrics that you should care about, but the business doesn’t always want to hear. 


How to Sell Geofencing Marketing to Your Stakeholders

How do you build support for this kind of marketing action inside the organization, or if you’re an agency, for your client? Keep it simple.

Nobody asks you, “how are you going to make my ads show up on Facebook?” or how are you going to make my ads show up on on on streaming on Hulu? No one cares how, they just show up, right? So when you’re selling this internally or to your client, you can just tell them we’re going to serve ads to everybody who visited their locations the last holiday season. Just tell them, “we’re going to advertise only to the people who show real-world intent by visiting specific stores” and you have explained it really well. 

If you confuse your stakeholder, your client, your business, they’re going to say that doesn’t sound like a very good idea. 

If you’re an agency, here is the math problem for selling geofencing to your client and making it profitable right away. Let me walk you through this and then we’ll jump ahead with some campaign examples, which is really, really a lot of fun. Laura is going to talk to those in a minute. Let’s say, for example, you want to do geofencing, you need tech, you need a piece of your tech stack to support that. So let’s say you spend $3000 a month on a geofencing marketing platform. That’s great. Well, you can then turn around your clients and say, Hey, you want geofencing marketing? I’ve got that as a service, as a part of my portfolio will do echo or the paid social will do a search, and we’ll do geofencing for you and for the geofencing because we’re going to charge you $2000 as a retainer and you for clients who want that. So right now, you’re at your $8000, right? That’s your gross fee in the blue. We’re also going to stone media on behalf of these clients, whether it’s display, programmatic or social, whatever the case might be. And you’re going to mark that media up, let’s say, 20 percent. So there’s another $16000 on top of that. So now you’ve got six K plus eight K, just twenty-four minus the three you’re paying, right? So now you’re at twenty-one a month. And if you annualize that you’re at a quarter of a million dollars net profit from running geofencing marketing campaigns. Now, these numbers are hypothetical, of course, so we’ve obviously made them up and made them look big. But it’s you can see how easy it is to get profitable right out of the gate, assuming you have the right clients or the right business need for this kind of technology. So take that model, plug in your own numbers and see if you can make this even more profitable for them. 


Campaign Examples

For these tactical campaign examples, we focus on three of the biggest gift categories. We’re going to go over jewelry first and then we have an apparel example. And then finally, a toy store example.  


Jewelry Store

Diamonds Direct is a regional jewelry dealer. If you and I were advertising on behalf of Diamonds Direct, we of course would want to geotarget the direct competitors. We’d target stores like Jared Jewelry and Kay Jewelers plus an indirect competitor, the jewelry department of a Nordstrom.

In this example, our audience size is 2,652. We advertise to them on Facebook with some creative similar to the examples below, then we measure foot traffic attribution. Just over halfway through the campaign and it looks like we’ve already driven 75 conversions from our Facebook ads. At an average sales price of $2,500, that’s 75 X $2,500 = $187.500 in revenue you can tie back to ad dollars spent on Facebook.


Apparel Store

Zumiez is an apparel store that specializes in skater/surfer style clothing and accessories.  They carry brands like RVCA, Oakley. Billabong, etc. First, we capture a retargeting audience of those who have visited Zumiez in the past 90 days and then include competitors’ shoppers, which we like to call geoconquesting. We’ll geofencing Tilly’s, Vans and Pac Sun locations. 

This audience is a whopping 2,442,096 people in the market for the items Zumiez sells After running a hypothetical Instagram campaign to drive awareness for their Black Friday sales, 333,550 people converted! Let’s say the average sale price is $65 we’ve now driven over twenty-one million dollars in revenue just from that Instagram ad campaign. 


Toy Store

Finally, let’s run an example campaign for The Learning Express Toys and Gifts. If we were to take an audience of Barnes & Noble and Fat Brain Toys which both have similar toys to The Learning Express, as well as draw custom geofences around the toy sections of Walmart and Target stores, we have our audience. 

In this case, the audience is made up of 7,888 devices. Then we run some Tik Tok ads showing the inside of the store to entice holiday shoppers and measure conversions in our attribution reports. This time we have 933 conversions. If shoppers spend $45 on average per trip, we’re at almost $42,000 in sales.

That is a happy holiday for Diamonds Direct, Zumiez, and The Learning Express! As you can see, a combination of surgical targeting powered by geofencing marketing software and the right kind of ads on Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok can drive the right kind of business to your stores and your client’s stores. 


This post was adapted from a live webinar. To download the on-demand webinar, contact us today