Let’s say I am a retailer selling LEGO®. I have an offline store and I would really like to track my performance. This article will show you that online and offline have a lot in common. The KPI’s are almost the same. You just need to find the right tools to track each channel.

I’m an online geek so I would like to track all my activity in my Google Analytics account. At this point, you might already think that it can’t be done. But just this morning when I saw this quote it became clear: It always seems impossible until it’s done.

It always seems impossible until it's done

So let’s dive in on how an offline store KPI’s can by tracked via Google Analytics.

I chose LEGO for two reasons. One, I love LEGO, and second, I love the uniformity of a LEGO store. All LEGO stores have the same structure, philosophy, almost the same products (differs by approx 10% in each country) and the same management control. That made my example so easy to picture.

A LEGO store has in it the following and it can be translated in an online store the following way:

Offline Online
Collections of products Category
Main products Products
Complementary products Complementary / Accessories products
Every product comes in a box The main photo of the product
Every shelf has only one collection The listing page
The LEGO catalog The online catalog (newsletter)
Facebook page / Find shop page Facebook page / Find shop page
Tablets with video of the products Video on product page
Giant statues Banners
Marketing events Campaigns
Marketing assets ( rollup, banners, mash) CPM campaigns
Traffic sensors Google Analytics tracking code
Cash register Checkout page
VIP cards UserID tracking
A tablet for surveys Exit survey or email survey
A tablet for VIP registrations Register section
Video cameras Hotjar 🙂

 

The first step to monitoring something is to choose which tool we are going to use. In my demo, we will use Google Analytics. We are going to create a Universal Google Analytics account with Enhanced Ecommerce tracking set up.

In a normal website, we will implement this tracking code on each page of our website. In a retail store, we will have like a single page website because LEGO usually has only one room for the stores. Now comes the fun part.

When a loyalty card means a UserID

I mentioned above that we have a ‘website’ for the LEGO store with the new Universal Google Analytics script. We also have a VIP club because all LEGO stores have a program called LEGO VIP Club. This club is a program designed to engage customers and increase sales. With each sale, a customer is encouraged to become a part of the VIP Club. They will get a card, like a credit card design, and a unique ID. With this ID, we will be able to unify the customer’s activity on online and in offline stores.

Sessions: or “traffic” in retail

For traffic control lots of retail stores have implemented sensors to track the amount of people coming in and walking out. Such a solution is usually called “counting visitors” or “footsteps counting”.

A retail store can implement a “counting visitors system” in 2 parts of the stores for collecting the maximum amount of data: outside the store, and just inside the entrance / exit.

This way you can measure the amount of people who saw your store and the amount of people who actually came in / left the store. You could then further divide the amount of people leaving the store in shoppers and visitors. Which in online translates to conversion rate.

Here we will then add the amount of people that saw LEGO ads via marketing efforts.

To make things interesting, we can put a contactless device by the entrance, to track the number of VIP customers that enter the store.

Here you can extract data from your counting visitors system and send this information via the Measurement Protocol to Google Analytics. I will not get technical on this, due to the fact that it is just an idea and not a case study. But for more information feel free to contact us.

At the entrance gate, you can send GA the information that a customer entered the LEGO store from Happy Street, give him a generic userID from the counter and if he taps the VIP card send the VIP Club ID also.

Category and products

Every brick and mortar store has an inventory of products. And every product in LEGO Store has a single category. If you’ve never seen a LEGO Store, let me show you what order means in products and category.

The products and categories can be imported to Google Analytics using data import function in the admin section.

In a LEGO store, you can track the On Shelf activity by using both traffic sensors and track events on digital assets. The sensors can track and send GA, the traffic on a specific section of the store. And since we are talking about LEGO this will be easy because the products are not mixed up.

LEGO has implemented Digital Boxes in US stores. Digital Boxes are an emulator that takes the image of an object you have in your hand and projects a new image on top of it. This Digital Box can be seen in the video above, and could be treated like a view of a specific product page.

Another cool asset LEGO has is the video player on the shelf. This video player shows the content of a product on a tablet (usually 7” wide). This tablet is put next to a selected product and the customer has the opportunity to virtually see the content of the LEGO box. We can now send to GA this interaction of a user with the video. Here we can use Google Tag Manager to catch the user interaction with this digital asset.

For the products that have no video on the shelf or a digital box projection, we can use a smartphone along with an improved version of the LEGO app called LEGO 3D Catalog. This app can be downloaded from the Android store or Apple Store, and in the same manner, as the digital box, it will project an animation of the product on the image of the product box. To enter the app you must be logged in, so we can use the User ID, and we can make use of the GPS position to be certain that he is in our store.

Online meets offline

All online marketing activities are easy to send to Google Analytics if we use a system to track them.

You can build your social campaign in a way that will be shown in Google Analytics in a very detailed way. Littledata provides a template to build powerful URL’s that can be used in your social campaigns. The role of this URL is to tag your traffic with the campaign information. Download Littledata’s campaign tracking sheet with a URL builder.

Online marketing activities mean Facebook, AdWords, mall website, PR communication, partners and mail exchange.

You can connect the tablet, which you have in your store for surveys, to Google Analytics and get interesting reports based on that data and act quickly with the alerts from Google Intelligent Alerts.

Impressions or proximity to marketing assets

The easy part in offline marketing is to track the impressions. Two words: proximity sensors. By using these sensors you can track the amount of people that came close to your marketing asset and send it to GA (or, as we say, make it fire to GA). A marketing asset can be a banner, a statue, a mash or a roll up. And now let’s take the game to the next level. Track the promotions interactions.

Let’s say you have a LEGO photo booth. Within the photo booth, you could place a QR code that will automatically share your customers’ photo on social media and, in the same time, send a hit to GA or add a hashtag.

Purchases

The complex structure of a purchase in Google Analytics is this:

‘id’: ‘P12345’,                   // Product SKU
‘name’: ‘Android Warhol T-Shirt’, // Product name
‘category’: ‘Apparel’,            // Product category
‘brand’: ‘Google’,                // Product brand – in our case is super easy “LEGO”
‘variant’: ‘black’,     // Product variant – on LEGO we have products like mugs red, green, yellow
‘price’: ‘29.20’,                 // Product price (currency).
‘coupon’: ‘APPARELSALE’,          // Product coupon – We can put here the coupon from our campaigns. And for the general campaigns like LEGO has a full month 30% off at City collection. Put the LEGO City sales that meet the conditions (like 1+1, or 2+1, or 2 +50%) a LEGO City identifier.
‘quantity’: 1                     // Product quantity (number).

All of these can be sent to GA on the purchase. Also, we can add custom dimensions like payment method and we must not forget about the VIP Club ID.

Incomes and outcomes all in one place

Data import lets you upload data from external sources and combine it with data you collect in Google Analytics. You could then use GA to organise and analyse all of your data in ways that reflect your business better.

Data imports join the offline data you’ve uploaded with the default hit data being collected by Google Analytics from your websites, mobile apps or other devices. Imported data can be used to enhance your reports, segments and re-marketing audiences in ways that reflect your own business needs and organisation. The result is a much fuller, more complete picture of your users’ online and offline activity. You can import you banners costs, traffic data from mall reports or refunds that maybe you are not tracking in your accounting software connected to Google Analytics. Data imports let you manually do a few of the things I detailed in this article.

Big DATA in useful reports

At this point, you have a bunch of data. All you need is some simplification. As already Littledata showed you, the final reports are the ones that really matter. Now, you just need to take a seat, grab a pencil and draw the KPI’s that matter to your business. I have some retail KPI’s that can be relevant to your business as they are for a LEGO store: customer retention, cost of goods sold, customer satisfaction incremental sales, average purchase value sales per square foot, cross devices and offline/online, conversion rate in store, track sales target, track bundle performance, employee sales performance, VIP enrollment target.

“Sky is the limit” when it comes to understanding your customers. Even if you are a big store or a little one, your company will be able to make adjustments to various strategies and budgets, improve your activity and bring customers better services.

Want more information on this blog post? Contact one of our lovely experts for details!

 

Further reading:

Image Credit: Image courtesy of http://eveash.com

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Alexandra

Previously led retail and digital marketing for LEGO Certified Stores and PANDORA. She’s experienced in PPC, affiliate, e-commerce, travel and news websites. She has a Master's degree in economic analysis.

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