The Case of the Underutilized Website
You have a website – great start. As your virtual business card, your website is a must-have and a leading source for collecting valuable first-party data – e.g. that essential audience segment that feeds your marketing initiatives with highly relevant information. First-party data can be thought of as an appetizer, an almost obligatory starter, to that anticipated dinner. There’s just never enough of the bite-sized goodness, and scalability becomes an issue.
So with first-party data the appetizer, what’s the entrée? What’s so important to your advertising and marketing efforts that you can’t leave satisfied without it? Hint: It’s not dessert.
To answer these, we must first dig a little deeper and open our minds to evolving ideas (because, hey, change is the only constant). So dare I say, the link between first-party data and retargeting has long since weakened; retargeting is far from the only way to utilize this crucial asset. In other words, your website and the first-party data it collects is really a treasure-trove of predictive and actionable insight – and if you’re still relying on first-party data to retarget retarget retarget in hopes of driving your e-commerce efforts, we’ve got news for you – you’re spending way too much time and money on the wrong objective.
In reality, over 80% of shoppers are still purchasing at retail (versus a manufacturer’s or brand’s e-commerce website), according to a recent Forrester report. Moreover, having interviewed 10 well-known product brands with an e-commerce function across major retail verticals (including sporting goods, appliances and electronics), ownerIQ found that on average, less than 8% of consumers buy directly from the brand’s e-commerce channel. Stepping back to digest this further, this implies that 100% of a brand’s retargeting campaign is responsible for just under 8% its of sales. Wowsa.
Now for the conundrum…
We know that retargeting works, and Google Analytics confirms that your website is indeed getting visits – it’s still clearly a critical a stage in the shopping process. Then what’s happening with the whopping 92% or so of visitors leaving your site? This is where your mindset needs to shift – your website isn’t selling, so the idea that your first-party data exists solely for retargeting is antiquated. Instead, your website must cultivate browsers’ interest and lead potential consumers in the right direction towards a purchase – at retail (where a sale can occur online or in-store). It’s imperative to take advantage of the retail opportunity by supporting your local retailer(s) in order to avoid missing out on the 92% of in-market shoppers and continue to promote your brand.
And here’s some more food for thought: When considering cookie recency, if a typical visitor doesn’t purchase directly from your brand’s site within the span of three days, that visitor is more than likely not returning to make a purchase – moving on elsewhere. And 50% of those very shoppers who visited your brand’s website will make a purchase in the same category within 30 days.
However, most companies will continue to use the same retargeting pool, wasting precious impressions. But because those shoppers are still out there looking to buy, you still have a chance to win them over with your product – it’ll just take some creativity, or some extra special ingredients.