Everything you need to know about drive-to-store campaigns
With consumers returning to the store, brands are looking for new strategies to generate physical traffic. They need to rethink the role of the point of sale within the customer journey. The drive-to-store campaign is a particularly interesting lever to meet this challenge!
What is drive-to-store?
The definition of drive-to-store
“Drive-to-store (dts) is a set of marketing actions the goal of which is to attract an individual to a physical point of sale.”
This point of sale can be a store, a business, a cinema, a restaurant, etc. All private establishments that have a sales strategy. This is therefore not relevant for public institutions.
But how can this be achieved? By exploiting all the browsing data left by Internet users on the web and on cell phones. The drive-to-store consists in creating a bridge between the virtual and physical worlds.
What are the differences between drive-to-store, web-to-store and mobile-to-store?
Even if these strategies have points in common, they remain significantly different because:
👉 web-to-store refers to the action of going online to get information before going to a physical retail location to buy.
👉 mobile-to-store adopts the same marketing strategy as drive-to-store but focuses only on smartphone users.
Why should you adopt this solution in your marketing strategy? There are many reasons; let’s list them together.
What are the advantages of a drive-to-store campaign?
✅ Better behavioral and geographic targeting
On the Internet, the cookies present on websites have a task: to collect the crumbs of information that Internet users leave while surfing the web.
This technology enables you to, among other things:
👉 follow a consumer’s entire buying process, from their first research attempts to the validation of their online order.
👉 learn more about their purchase intentions, in order to adapt marketing actions.
👉 detect the moments when they may have expressed doubts, or evaluated the competition.
Added to that of other consumers, this information allows you to extract different buyer profiles, with a buying behavior of their own.
You can also identify geographical areas where your brand is strong and others where it could benefit from being better known.
The insights you gain from these analyses will allow you to target more effectively in your next marketing operations.
✅ A touchpoint outside the point of sale
Should a point of sale only be operational during its opening hours? Of course not!
Through a drive-to-store campaign, your points of sale can communicate during off-peak hours, day and night, or even during days when you’re closed.
Commercial offers, loyalty activities, event announcements: you are no longer limited to a specific time window.
And you can also communicate differently in different stores, to be more responsive to events in your area and especially your target audience’s area.
The 4 steps to launch your drive-to-store campaign
⚙️ Target your audience
You must first define the personas you want to reach. It can be a socio-professional category in a defined area, all the inhabitants of the same neighborhood, a group of students, etc.
Choose your drive-to-store advertising formats
We’ll list all the techniques right after.
Script your campaigns
Your customer journey is like a script: there’s a beginning, an end and different steps in between. Apply A/B testing and write several scenarios to see which one works best.
Optimize your campaign
You need to track the performance of your drive-to-store campaign on a daily basis if you want to make sure you’re hitting your goals. Our brand lift tool helps you easily measure your advertising effectiveness!
12 techniques to use for your drive-to-store campaign
Click and collect, contests, local search, DOOH programmatic display: we’ll take a look at all the techniques you can use in your drive-to-store strategy.
1 - Localized advertisements or announcements
Why not start by broadcasting or publishing an ad around your point of sale?
The interest of this technique is to focus on all the people in the vicinity of your point of sale. Whether it’s during a stroll, on their daily commute from home to the office or even during a tourist visit.
Take Julie, for example, who works in a shop in downtown Liverpool. To get to work, she uses the Waze app. On this app, 80% of the trips are made within 30 kilometers of her home. Julie can therefore become a loyal customer of your store, which is located 200 meters from her workplace.
One of the solutions you can put in place? Create an advertisement on this medium. On the app, it can appear as an in-app banner when the driver is stopped (so as not to disturb them) or when the app is opened.
There are many other localized advertising solutions.
For example, Facebook has developed the “Store Traffic Objective” to direct a person from an ad to a physical store.
This solution is for gaining brand awareness, but be careful not to abuse it too much. The tougher the competition, the higher the bill for the advertising agency.
2 - click and collect
Will we continue looking at these marketing terms?
This one is very simple. Click and collect. Click before you collect. Or buy online and collect your order in store.
The main interest for the customer is to avoid the constraints inherent to a physical place of sale (long lines, to mention one of the more unpleasant ones), while still giving them the pleasure of browsing your shelves (a moment that often leads to additional purchases).
As for the brand, it has everything to gain. It:
👉 guarantees a more “relaxed” experience in the store.
👉 strengthens your close bond with your customer.
👉 can implement a more responsive logistics strategy.
👉 facilitates the management of its in-store inventory.
👉 gains valuable information about its customers.
3 - Discount or exceptional offers
“Clearance until July 18, 2022, everything must go! »
Everyone has already seen this kind of offer, written on a huge, bright yellow poster stuck in the window of a store.
You can say what you want about this kind of move, but this technique attracts the eye as much as it invites people to enter the store.
It’s true. After all, you can always take a look around. A good deal may be hiding away in there.
This mechanism works with any promotional offer. You can focus all your efforts on a single offer like “buy 2 mascaras, get the 3rd one free”, a specific department like “15% off in the men’s department”, or your entire store.
4 - Contests
Let’s say you participate in an online contest. Bingo, you win a brand new 4K television set! To get it, you absolutely have to go to the store.
Are you going? Of course you are.
Contests are a great way to roll out your drive-to-store campaign, for 3 reasons:
👉 it only takes a few seconds to participate.
👉 everyone can win.
👉 these contests are passed around a lot on social networks.
5 - User reviews
Before the Internet, there was word of mouth. Since the Internet, there is word-of-mouth and user reviews.
Reviews are an indirect technique to attract consumers to (or repel them away from) a store:
👉 If the reviews are mostly negative, a psychological barrier emerges in the user. Without even having set foot there, they are wary of the experience, because they have read negative reviews, and it will now take a real effort to get them to try it out.
👉 If the reviews are mostly positive, the user will have a good, preconceived idea and will therefore have less difficulty going to your store.
These are powerful leverage effects since they bring concrete feedback to your points of sale. Don’t neglect them – your brand image is at stake.
Thank the customers who had a positive experience and hold a dialogue with those who had a negative experience.
6 - Local search web-to-store
This technique complements the previous one since the user reviews will reinforce it.
There is no need to explain what SEO is, as natural search is already part of your digital marketing strategy.
Here, the goal is simply to strengthen your visibility on a local scale so that users can find you quickly.
We’ll stick with the example of Julie, who works in Montpellier. If she types “jewelry designer Montpellier” in her search engine, only the results that Google considers relevant will be shown to her.
If you want to be part of these relevant results, create a page dedicated to your store. You can do this via search engine solutions (Google My Business and Bing Business, to name two) or the Yellow Pages.
Your customers will be able to share their opinions and prove to Google that you deserve to be at the top of the search results.
How can we talk about a digital campaign without mentioning social networks?
The information they hold on their users is very precise and diverse.
For example, Facebook Ads is equipped with very fine and particularly effective targeting capabilities, two essential criteria for creating successful campaigns.
There is no need to remind you of the importance of focusing your strategy on several social networks to avoid being too dependent on one or the other.
8 - SMS marketing
Did you know that more than 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt?
Along with e-mail and postal address, the telephone number is the third most requested means of contact in online forms.
Often perceived as too direct and intrusive, SMS marketing is nonetheless a very powerful and, most importantly, a very profitable tool.
As simple as it is quick to set up, you can choose between several types of campaigns:
👉 Push SMS, perfect for informing your customer at each step of the purchase process.
👉 Bulk SMS, to reach a maximum audience.
👉 The response SMS, which requires a commitment from your recipient.
9 - Website store locator
The Store Locator is a very simple tool to set up that fits perfectly into an SEO strategy.
Name of the brand, address of the point of sale, telephone number and opening hours: with this information you can significantly increase your search indexing.
Don’t forget to add a few features to make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, such as filters, geolocation or directions.
10 - In-store events
Most of the solutions we have just listed take place online. So let’s take a look at offline.
What do you think makes you go to a shop, apart from the products or a promotional offer? An event!
Are you a bookshop? Organize a signing session with a successful author. Are you a hardware store? Invite your customers to a DIY workshop. Are you a liquor store? Prepare a tasting session.
This is a great opportunity to create a close relationship with your customers!
And don’t forget your conversion objective. A book signed by the author – their own creation – or a wine discovered in the store is much more attractive than a “classic” purchase.
11 - DOOH programmatic display
Take a standard display ad, replace the glued posters with screens and you get Digital Out Of Home (DOOH).
This type of broadcast is particularly relevant to a drive-to-store campaign because it is programmatic. This means that the purchase and implementation of display campaigns is automated.
In short, DOOH is the improved version of print advertising. It solves a major problem: print campaigns and responsiveness do not go hand-in-hand. Conversely, you can change your advertising message and adapt it as you wish on DOOH.
Let’s take an example.
You’re a ready-to-wear brand looking to attract customers to your store. On sunny days, you can highlight your T-shirts, caps or shorts. But when the cold weather hits, it’s time to promote your hats, down jackets and other winter clothing.
12 - The Wallet
Let’s face it: No one likes to store dozens of loyalty cards in their wallet.
Fortunately, the wallet (or mobile wallet) has solved this problem. You know, it’s that little digital wallet that cuts down on the paper versions of loyalty cards, e-bookings and other coupons. Apple and Android have been integrating it directly into their smartphones for several years.
What started out as a simple app for storing loyalty cards has become a formidable conversion weapon.
In this regard, it is estimated that:
👉 1 in 2 coupons is used at the point of sale.
👉 the wallet increases the frequency of purchases at the physical point of sale by 20% and boosts its revenue by 10%.
How can you use this technique in your campaign?
By simply integrating push-up notifications. As soon as a user registers your brand or store in their wallet, you can send them messages.
This is a highly qualified channel that allows you to send very visible messages. The proof: 80-90% of these notifications are seen by the user.
5 best practices for your drive-to-store campaign
Spread the campaign in the catchment area of the points of sale
There is no point in running a drive-to-store campaign in Boston if your nearest point of sale is 700 kilometers away, are we agreed?
That’s why you need to focus on the catchment area of your outlets first.
It’s easy to do generic local advertising. Book a few displays within a 5-kilometer radius of your outlet and the whole neighborhood will know about your promotional offer.
But this method has two major flaws:
it is difficult to measure the performance of your campaign.
the audience of your campaign will be very (too) large.
In short, drive-to-store is a bit like that, but it goes further in the process. Because with users’ location data, your campaign will reach a more qualified audience.
With location-based advertising, the ad network allows you to target users in a well-defined area (from 1 to 80 km on Facebook Ads). Depending on your budget, you can extend your campaign from the primary to the secondary (or even tertiary) zone.
Have a clear and concise message
An ad should fulfil several tasks:
👉 provide information.
👉 reflect the brand image.
👉 play on a precise wording in order to facilitate the target audience’s identification with your brand.
And all this in a few words! Not easy.
There is a veritable ocean of advertising surrounding it. 1,200. That’s the average number of advertising messages we are confronted with every day.
In the face of all this competition, you should understand that your advertising message has to be as clear and unambiguous as possible in order for it to be remembered.
How can you tell? Take a simple test: the 5-second test. Take your ad (a Facebook post for example). Read it in 5 seconds and answer the questions:
👉 what is the content of the message?
👉 who is the advertiser?
👉 is there any encrypted data (date, price, etc.)??
If the test is not conclusive, then you need to rewrite your message. If you don’t have the resources in-house, don’t hesitate to go with an advertising agency.
Contextualize the message
Imagine that your drive-to-store campaign has to highlight a promotional offer in your Valencia shop.
Is it more relevant to put a message mentioning “our nearest shop” or “your shop in Valencia”? The answer seems obvious. Not contextualizing your communication means giving half the information you need.
On the contrary, the more you contextualize your campaign, the more it will reach your audience.
“See you this Saturday November 26, 2022 for the opening of your Valencia shop” will be much more relevant than “See you this Saturday for the opening of our nearest shop”.
Make it easier to locate outlets
This is the perfect segway to the 4th point on this list: locating your physical points of sale.
Going back to the definition of drive-to-store, the goal is to direct someone to a location. But how do you ensure that your target group can easily access that location?
Of course, you can give the full address of one or more of your outlets in your campaign. But why inflict text on yourself when native methods exist?
There are two solutions:
👉 You incorporate a link that redirects to the Store Locator of your website. On this, the user will have access to a map where all your points of sale are located.
👉 You incorporate a link that redirects to a map or to the shortest route to the nearest point of sale (hence the interest in the user’s geolocation).
Make the message repetitive
Even if you have respected the first 4 good practices we have just stated, you must not omit the last one, which consists of repeating, repeating, repeating.
As a rule of thumb, it is estimated that a person needs to “hear” a message 7 times before they take action. Use your marketing muscle and repeat your message so that it reaches the eyes and ears of your target.
But be careful not to cross the line between repetition and hype. It’s up to you to find the right balance.
Don't forget to measure the performance of your drive-to-store campaign!
You now know what a drive-to-store campaign is and how to launch it. But don’t forget the most important step: measure its effectiveness!
If you are an advertiser, you can easily identify what works and what doesn’t, so you can adapt your strategy and optimize your return on investment. With concrete figures, you will be able to demonstrate the success of your campaign to your management.
If you work in an agency, you will be able to justify the impact of the campaigns you launch for your clients very simply. Highlight your expertise via precise performance indicators to build loyalty and sign up new clients by complementing your offer.
Happydemics acts as a trusted third party for over 300 advertising companies (advertising networks, DSPs and communication agencies).
We work in particular with Locala, a specialist in the implementation and analysis of drive-to-store advertising campaigns. Thanks to our brand lift, they measure precise indicators that they communicate to their clients:
Intent to visit the shop
Intent to visit after exposure
Proximity to the brand and its competitors
Find out in detail how Locala enables its international clients to optimize their drive-to-store strategies with Happydemics!