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 You spend a fortune marketing your retail brand in different ways, but do you know which of these ways are actually making you money?

If only there was a way to analyse which of your marketing channels were successful!

What is Retail Attribution Modelling?

Retail-Attribution-Modelling-1Attribution modelling is a system that allows retailers to decide how to use their marketing spend by analysing the ways in which their target audience has reached their site.

Modern internet shoppers are savvy. They don’t always buy the first thing they see the first time they look at it online. Often, they’ll visit the site a number of times and they may arrive by a different channel each time.

For instance, there are four major ways in which a customer can reach a retailer such as Next, Matalan, Very or Harvey Nichols. These are:

  • Direct – Where a consumer types the URL into their browser and visits the site without interacting with other marketing materials – although this doesn’t mean they haven’t encountered them previously.
  • Organic – Where a user searches for a retailer (e.g. Next), or a relevant subject (e.g. homeware, furniture, women’s clothes) and the search engine provides them with a series of links to sites. These are organic search links and SEO is all about making sure your link ranks as highly as it can.
  • Paid advertising – PPC links drive traffic to a retailer’s site on a cost per click basis and the more successful they are, the more they cost. Paid ads are also available on major social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Referral – This is traffic coming you a retailer’s site from a link in an online article or another website. So if a blogger mentions Very.co.uk along with a link in a review of one of their products, then traffic generated by this is a referral.

An attribution model is the rule, or combination of rules, which decides the value of each channel and every touch point in a conversion path.

Why use retail attribution modelling?

Next-Retail-Attribution-Modelling (2)Attribution modelling can be invaluable for retailers in helping them see what is working and what isn’t.

Without attribution modelling, it’s likely that your conversion data would be dominated by direct traffic, which might lead retailers to mistakenly believe that other channels are less valuable. Attribution modelling allows retailers to see that other channels such as PPC or SEO play a much bigger part in the conversion process.

For instance, a major high street retailer like Next will get a huge amount of direct traffic and a customer may well convert on a direct visit. But, for instance, they may have initially discovered that Next sell the products they want through a generic search for, say, ‘homeware’. And since new customers who aren’t familiar with the brand will never arrive by direct traffic, it’s important to see which aspects of the marketing campaign are doing the most to drive new visitors.

How to use retail attribution modelling

Next-Retail-Attribution-Modelling-2 (1)First of all, retailers should make sure they have Analytics access. Once they have it, they can use the tools in there to analyse a customer’s journey to conversion. Perhaps they discovered the site through PPC, but returned to it several times through organic searches before converting.

This means that a retailer should devote as much time and effort to SEO as they do to PPC. Since Google’s latest algorithm updates favour rich content, this tells retailers to put money into creative resource in order to rank highly.

The insights gained through Analytics can also tell you where to place cookies in order to target and re-target site visitors with ads and banners, convincing them to come back and make that purchase.

Hit Search are specialists in attribution modelling for the retail sector, so if you want to speak to us about getting the most out of your marketing spend, call us today on 0800 011 9270.

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