Driving Offline Sales with Generic Keywords

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What drives more in-store sales – branded keywords or generic keywords? According to a 13-month long study from search marketing agency GroupM (part of the WPP group), 86 percent of buyers who purchase in-store use generic terms on search engines to inform their purchase decision.

“The Web is influencing more than $1 trillion of in-store sales, and search is the number one online channel for driving that revenue,” said Chris Copeland, CEO, GroupM Search. “This new understanding of the retail shopper represents a behavioral shift. The intent shown in search provides brands an opportunity to maximize their online revenues and encourage and cultivate greater in-store sales.”

Copeland may be a little bullish on the “behavioral shift” as everything I have seen indicates that generic terms have nearly always driven more activity. There is a lot of good information in the report however (read From Intent to In-Store: Search’s Role in the New Retail Shopper Profile) including that in-store buyers click on organic listings and show a greater propensity to click on a generic link, at a rate of 144 percent over the general shopper. Perhaps its time to ramp up those SEO efforts.

Additional insights available in the report which warrant some attention include that more than 5 percent of traffic measured to an advertiser’s site is store locator activity, and 10 percent of shoppers report using tablets during the retail shopping experience.

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