Why Brick-And-Mortar Stores Are The Next Big Attribution Hurdle

bandMgrowCall it the holistic grail: the ability to connect advertising, ecommerce activity and in-store buying with a single measurement.

No one’s filled that gap yet, but a bunch of companies are taking incremental steps. Earlier this month the location analytics shop Placed added a product for attributing in-store lift to its suite.

Then last week Nielsen said it would roll out an ecommerce measurement solution later this year. And one day later PlaceIQ and Acxiom-owned LiveRamp said they’d completed testing on a joint product designed to connect addressable TV campaigns with in-store lift. (Foursquare also debuted a retail attribution product.)

Here’s a breakdown:

PlaceIQ and LiveRamp’s service connects retail activity to addressable TV campaigns. Because 90% of all consumer dollars are spent in-store, however, even fractional inroads into that market are desired by marketers, said PlaceIQ Chief Strategy Officer Derek Thompson.

LiveRamp Chief Product Officer Anneka Gupta compared the opportunity with retail attribution to digital-first companies building products for TV, where they don’t need to secure as much market share to pay off because the overall budgets are exponentially larger.

The product works by combining LiveRamp’s retail connectivity with PlaceIQ’s location targeting. LiveRamp has a huge repository of in-store shopping data, which it receives through a network of third parties.

CPG marketers can determine whether a consumer visited the store, even if he or she didn’t make a purchase. As for making the sale? That’s the marketer’s job, Thompson said: “Once the person is in the store, you’re putting it into the retailer’s hands to close.”

Placed leverages users across a network of third-party partner apps, and tracks via an opted-in audience.

Nielsen’s is the only solution that directly partners with retailers. (Target is the only national retailer that is publicly involved.) Nielsen’s North American president, Karen Fichuk, said the omnichannel measurement tool “will incorporate multiple data sets including retailer POS (point-of-sale), consumer sourced receipts (and) longitudinal panels.”

Nielsen’s solution is the only one to directly involve retail partners, and their priorities are reflected in the product’s selling points.

“The opportunity is for retailers to understand the data to uncover insights around those shoppers for that store to better make assortment, pricing, promotion and marketing decisions on a granular scale,” Fichuk said

Digital measurement tools and the real world of brick-and-mortar retail are cautiously inching together. 

As Fichuk said, “a multisource solution is the only reliable way to give clients ongoing measurement of online consumer purchase behavior and true channel measurement, while keeping up with the continued changes we know will happen in this dynamic market.”

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