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How Online Research Impacts Foot Traffic

by simon
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We take oceans of data and processing for granted and carry that with us everywhere. And we use the technology in almost every aspect of our lives. The internet and smartphones haven’t just opened new ways for retailers to sell to customers. In fact, they are key to driving more foot traffic to your physical store.

We know how much technology shapes our behavior

Every customer journey begins online. While desktops once served as the main starting point, your customers use their mobile phones more often. They look for product information, availability, customer reviews. And these days, that starting point influences eCommerce purchases and in-store foot traffic equally.

Mobile ROBO Rising

Regardless of the channel a customer uses, researching precedes purchasing. Although consumers research more when shopping online marketplaces, everyone does their homework. Since this behavior now has become so important to brick-and-mortars in particular, it has its own acronym: ROBO (research online, buy offline). According to one study, 45% of off-line buyers now read online reviews before buying. Of course, it doesn’t end there: 82% consult their smartphones while in the store.

Local Searches; Foot Traffic Surges

So while positive customer reviews help get customers in the door, local searches can be an even bigger foot traffic driver. Most searches for products near a customer result in a visit to the store. For example, one Google study showed that 78% of such searches resulted in store visits. Moreover, nearly 30% of those visits resulted in sales. Simply put, customers search locally when they intend to make a purchase.