Study: Online marketing drives 21% in-store sales lift

RESTON, Va. — Online marketing campaigns contributed to an in-store sales lift of 21%, according to an analysis of multiple consumer packaged goods online ad campaigns that was released Tuesday by ComScore and DunnhumbyUSA.

According to the report, 5-of-every-6 online campaigns generated a positive sales lift among exposed households. Approximately 70% of campaigns generated a double-digit sales lift, and more than 40% generated lifts of at least 30%.

"Effective advertising has always been about increasing awareness, favorability and purchase intent in order to increase in-store conversion," stated ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "After several years of conducting advertising effectiveness research for [consumer packaged goods] brands, we are learning how digital campaigns can lift sales in retail stores. It's now clear that online ad campaigns should be an integral part of any CPG marketer's integrated communications strategy."

"The ComScore DunnhumbyUSA research highlights the potential impact of an integrated, customer-driven approach across channels," said Matthew Keylock, SVP new business development and partnerships at DunnhumbyUSA. "With these results, we are one step closer to a more comprehensive understanding of what motivates shoppers to buy and how online advertising can play a significant role along the path to purchase."

Retail sales were measured by analytically linking the permission-based ComScore panel of 1 million U.S. Internet users to their anonymous loyalty card in-store purchase data provided by DunnhumbyUSA. Analysts determined the impact of online advertising campaigns by comparing the in-store brand buying of households exposed to online advertising with that of households not exposed.

"Based on these results, the power of purchase-based ad targeting is clear," Fulgoni said. "By delivering a relevant and persuasive message to the appropriate consumer segment, brand buying at retail stores can be increased substantially. It's clear that the level of accuracy in reaching a brand's consumer target that is possible with the Internet can drive [return on investment] several times higher than what can be obtained using traditional media channels."