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Attribution key to increased conversions and order values

Monday September 3 2012

Search and online display marketing are required channels for retail brands. But the disciplines have evolved radically and are increasingly integrated and measured via digital marketing suites serving real time, behaviour-led campaigns, according to Ollie Bath

Search and online display marketing are required channels for retail brands. But the disciplines have evolved radically and are increasingly integrated and measured via digital marketing suites serving real time, behaviour-led campaigns, according to Ollie Bath

 

In this multichannel environment, it is surprising when marketers don’t understand the influence of each channel – and thereby do not understand where to attribute credit or how to optimally assign their online budgets.

 

Ollie Bath, head of client solutions Europe for digital marketing software provider IgnitionOne, told RetailTechnology.co.uk that too many marketers measure the success through ‘last click’ – a form of attribution that gives all the credit to the channel clicked just before a conversion. Last click is the least accurate, but also, he said unfortunately, the most common attribution model.

 

Last click does not reflect journey

 

“In a football match all the credit is not given to the goal scorer. The build up from a goal kick to back of the net is never straightforward,” Bath continued. “It’s the same with online campaigns. The last click is rarely the only contribution to a conversion.

 

“Integrated campaigns are most powerful when you have a fully attributed view of online advertising, giving crucial insight into how the different digital channels work together. By better understanding how different media interact and assist along the path to making an online purchase, marketers can speed up conversions and increase average order values (AOV).”

 

A new report by IgnitionOne examines conversion paths and latency (amount of time between first exposure and conversion) among global retail brands; it uncovered insights, including:

 

Higher order values come from online display. On its own, display advertising drives a 29% higher average order value (AOV) than other single channel campaigns, such as paid search or email.

 

Multichannel delivers faster conversion

 

However, the report found that multichannel campaigns convert shoppers faster. Display combined with search (both paid and organic) drove a 16% higher AOV when it’s at the top of the path, but converts users 43% faster than other multichannel paths.

 

“Figuring out the right types of display is crucial to getting a shopper to search for a particular brand and then get them to convert quickly,” Bath said. “This is because latency decreases considerably when a shopper views or clicks on a display ad and then clicks on a search ad.

 

“Higher AOVs can be achieved through ‘retargeting’ (targeting advertising to customers who have visited a website previously). This is because retargeting shows ads to shoppers who have already expressed interest.”

 

The most common path used by retail marketers is starting with paid search and ending with organic search. But Bath said that this actually leads to a lower AOV when compared to the average for multichannel paths.

 

“On the flipside, starting with paid and ending with organic search has the shortest latency of 4.5 days, compared to the average of 10.3 days for all multichannel paths. Faster conversion, but lower AOV,” he added.

 

Converting shoppers into purchasers

 

The report examined the number of exposures required for a successful campaign. Retail shoppers need on average five ‘touchpoints’ before they actually purchase online. This means they are exposed to marketing messages five times prior to actually making a purchase.

 

A shopper’s journey online from initial exposure to final conversion crosses on average 1.6 channels; and can include any number of combinations of pay per click search, display, organic search, Facebook, email etc.

 

Bath concluded: “To take full advantage of insights like these, retail marketers must move away from a fragmented approach to online marketing and ‘last click’ attribution. When you have a full picture of how all of your efforts interact, it is possible to create something greater than the sum of its parts.”

 

IgnitionOne’s Attribution Path’s Report can be downloaded here.