Google/Compete Study: How Digital Influences the Footwear Shopping Process

12/05/2011 01:29:00 PM

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Approximately 19% of footwear purchases occurred online in October and online footwear purchases are up 14% year over year, the 23rd month of consecutive double digit growth! (Mastercard) The online channel is increasingly influencing footwear shopper decisions leaving many footwear brands and retailers asking, "How do I best reach these shoppers online?".

We’re excited to announce that Google and Compete recently completed a custom study on the footwear industry, investigating how digital and mobile influences footwear purchase decisions. Here are 6 key insights and recommendations on how marketers can better reach these shoppers:

Digital is core to the footwear purchase process: 37% of people who have researched footwear online solely rely on online resources when shopping for footwear. This means that they did not use other sources like TV, Magazines or even advice from family & friends while researching/shopping for shoes.

Recommendation: Ensure digital is core to your media mix and that your digital campaigns align with your offline campaigns or you'll miss reaching a large portion of footwear shoppers.

Footwear buyers cross-shop online before purchasing: Prior to purchasing online, footwear buyers visit an average of 2-4 competitive sites and 45% wait to purchase 2 weeks or more after starting their research.

Recommendation: Re-market to customers who don’t immediately convert on your site and adjust your attribution windows to capture those that are starting their research 2 weeks prior to conversion.

Shoe shoppers use search throughout the shopping process: 43% of shoe shoppers use search throughout the purchase process and 39% of online footwear sales from searchers came from clicks on search ads.

Recommendation: Implement paid search coverage throughout buying process, optimizing ad text to drive immediate sales.

Footwear shoppers search in thousands of different ways: Footwear shoppers conducted 25K+ unique query paths using category, manufacturer and retailer queries. However, we found that 18% of all query paths only contained category terms (ie shoes, boots), meaning these shoppers never searched on manufacturer or retailer terms. If footwear retailers and brands aren’t appearing in search results on category queries, they are missing nearly 1 in 5 footwear shoppers! Footwear Category terms also drive online purchases. In the study, they represented almost 20% of online purchase assists and 15% of last click purchases.

Recommendation: Invest in footwear category terms to acquire undecided customers. Manufacturers and retailers should partner and dedicate co-op funds to assist in achieving a high position in paid search results. These ads should push manufacturer brand sales at retail via ad text messaging and landing page. It's a great strategy because both manufacturer and brand will increase awareness among undecided customers while splitting the cost of the CPC!

Searchers are more likely to purchase offline than non-searchers: 43% of searchers said they ended up making a purchase in-store while only 36% of non-searchers purchased in store.

Recommendation: Measure search influenced in-store sales and incorporate into your ROI metrics

Mobile allows pureplays & manufacturer online stores to compete in-store: 24% of respondents who used their mobile device to shop for footwear, used it in the store. While shopping in-store on mobile devices, price comparison and coupon searching were the two primary uses for mobile devices.

Recommendation: Ensure your site is optimized for mobile phones and use mobile ads to influence customers across channels.

For more information on our footwear shopper study, download the full presentations here:

Posted by Eva Barbier, The Google Retail Team


dave said...

I did not think there would be digital influences on how one shop for footwear i.e. through mobile phone.

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