11 Reasons Why Advertisers & Online Sellers Must Do In-Store Promotions
While new digital channels and advertising tools keep showing up and evolving, there hasn’t been a real change in the fundamental role of marketing – that is, primarily, to influence potential consumers’ decisions so that they buy our products.
Let’s talk for a minute about Place, the second ‘P’ in the four P’s of marketing. Every year brands spend billions of dollars on securing better in-store presence and promotions, understanding its major effect on the buyer’s decisions.
As ecommerce takes an ever-growing chunk of the sales, these promotion budgets are moving into the direction of online stores.
Here are 11 reasons why every brand must utilize its advertising budget for online store promotions (aka promoted listings) and, especially, for sponsored products promotions:
1. Does 1,000% ROI sound good?
There are 10 other important reasons why you should do sponsored product promotions in ecommerce sites but we couldn’t take the chance that you wouldn’t read them all and miss this one, which is kind of the bottom line. It actually works!
Sponsored product promotions in online stores get brilliant results in terms of conversion rates, return on ad spent, sales, and online market share uplift.
The typical average sponsored product campaign reaches a conversion rate of 5%, a ROAS of 1,000%, an ACoS of 10% and an uplift of more than 10% in sales.
The remaining 10 reasons explain why.
2. 70% of purchase decisions are made in the store
Be it offline or online – the store has a huge impact on the consumer’s decision to buy or not to buy, and which product and brand to buy. How huge? 70% huge!
The precise number varies and depends on the culture and the product. In China, for example, the number is 88% while in Germany the people are more decisive and the number is 38%. When buying shampoo the number is 25%, but when choosing a beer or a soft drink it is 60%.
28% of the shoppers who already know what they want to buy will decide which brand to buy only when they are in the store.
As people continue to move from shopping at offline stores to buying more online, the huge impact of in-store decision-making is now happening, increasingly, online.
This means that online stores offer advertisers a very important and unique touch point with potential customers. In order to take advantage of this touch point and help their potential consumers choose right, advertisers need to drive advertising budgets into the store and make sure they are getting the best presence.
3. The Paradox of Choice
The last time I checked, Amazon offered 2,159 different models of television sets! The digital stores have unlimited space to offer unlimited diversity. Barry Schwartz, who explores how we deal with many choices says in his book, The Paradox of Choice, that, “Choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannize…. The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.”
“The digital generation is picking, and not choosing…with a world of choices rushing by like a music video,” he continues, “all a picker can do is grab this or that and hope for the best.”
When offered too many television sets options in the store, the consumers go for what they think is trustworthy – It can be a most popular item, a one that is recommended by the editor, or – an item that shows up among the first positions in the category or search result page.
4. A better shelf is really all you need
In a study we published last year here at Mabaya, we found that 50% of online shoppers who visit an ecommerce site don’t go further than the 1st category/results page. Only 25% go further than the 2nd page.
In Amazon, the numbers are even higher – 80% of the shoppers in Amazon don’t go further than the 1st result page. A brand that appears 1st in Amazon’s search result page has 10 times more clicks than a brand listed 10th, and 2 times more than the brand that is listed 2nd.
These examples emphasize how consumers are affected by the position and placement of a product in an online store, and what a major impact it has on their buying decisions.
The brands and products that take the top placements get better clicks and conversions organically, just for being there.
5. Sponsored products are perceived by the consumers just like any other product
When it comes to sponsored products, our research found there was no relevance to the fact that some of the products were sponsored and that someone paid to promote them. The sponsored products on each page (if and when they appeared) generated the same average number of clicks as the other products on the page in a similar positions.
In a recent A/B test we conducted the results of the promoted products were even better than those of the organic products (in the same position) both in terms of clicks (CTR) and conversions.
This means that a brand that paid to be presented first in its category or in search results received the same or even a better reaction than a brand that appeared there without paying.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you sponsor and promote a bad product you will suddenly generate numerous sales. It means that it helps you get better clicks and conversions.
So when done properly, sponsoring and promoting products is a native way to get more relevant brand awareness and generate sales.
6. The online store wins 2 moments of truth!
When Google invites you to advertise on its search results pages, it says, “Be there when your product or service is needed”. Google has developed and explored the ZMOT theory – The Zero Moment of Truth. It explains the new way consumers are buying. In the past, the buying process had 3 steps – Stimulation, First Moment of Truth (in the store) and 2nd Moment of Truth (at home when using the product). In contrast, the new buying process has 4 steps. Between the Stimulation and the First Moment of Truth (in the store), there is a long, important step called the Zero Moment of Truth when consumers do online research, before going to the store.
Advertisers must know their products’ ZMOT and be there along the way, so that eventually when customers are ready to buy, they will buy the right products.
Ecommerce sites are not only important as First Moment of Truth places where people see, feel and buy the products, they are also super important in the evaluation phase, meaning the ZMOT.
97% of visitors to online stores leave without buying anything. What are they doing there? Evaluating! They are visiting these sites during their ZMOT phase.
According to a research done by HookLogic, two thirds of shoppers start searches for products on retail sites, while only a third starts on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Online stores play a major part in the ZMOT browsing process and, therefore, advertisers must be there and try to impact the consumers not only when they are in the store to buy, but also when they are visiting the store in their evaluation phase.
7. Save your budget for the important battlefield
Amazon spent more than 7 billion dollars on advertising last year. Amazon is not alone – all the online retailers are spending billions in order to get shoppers into their stores. In fact retailers are the number one spenders on ads. As a brand, competing with these giants in Google or Facebook, doesn’t only require very deep pockets but is also very inefficient in terms of price per click and conversions.
Instead of fighting with the retailers on the same keywords (for your products) you could shift your battlefield into their store and fight your real direct competitors.
This way you’ll have less competition and better return on your ad spend.
8. The best way to get impulse shoppers
1 in 3 online purchases, on the average, is the result of impulse shopping, according to the Hooklogic research. Impulse shopping, by definition, happens when you browse around and see something you like.
This huge marketing opportunity can’t be achieved by advertising on search engines or anywhere that is not the online store itself.
Better appearance in the store means a bigger piece of the impulse shopping cake.
9. Increase the product’s organic positions in the stores
When more consumers click on your sponsored product’s promotion in the search result pages or category pages, and enter your product page, it usually also effects your organic position on those pages.
One of the main parameters in the store’s algorithm that decides which products to show where is how many people enter the product page. It usually doesn’t matter if they entered due to a campaign in or out of the store.
10. Sponsored products is performance based and transparent
Nobody loves uncertainty, nobody loves to pay for something that doesn’t do the work, and nobody loves to pay for something when there is an uncertainty regarding whether it can or can’t do the work.
Not only do Sponsored Products work, it enables advertisers to give it a try without the risk of being wrong
It is PPC (Pay Per Click) and it is biddable so advertisers can decide how much every click on every product is really worth.
Being placed within the stores enables full transparency and live reports not only on the number of clicks, PPC, and the conversion rate but also on real direct sales that the promoted products generated – Sales, ROAS, and ACoS.
11. Great for launching new products and models
In-store promotions are perfect when launching new products or a series of products within the category. These are times when the role of marketing involves creating awareness.
For example, when someone is visiting ecommerce sites and browsing for a new television set, that is the perfect place and time to introduce that visitor to a new product and its features.
That is why you can sometimes see, in offline stores, special spaces and stands that present new products.
Mabaya develops advertising tools that enable marketplaces and online retailers to monetize their traffic by offering sellers and brands to promote their products. Mabaya’s white label Sponsored Products Ads platform enables sellers and brands to bid in order to ensure their products are listed in premium locations in the online stores.