While more and more businesses are moving toward online retailing, there's still a large number that have invested in brick-and-mortar shops that are now trying to figure out how to remain competitive against the efficiency of mobile and online retailers.
New research from RapidBlue, a European analytics company, found that when companies use Google AdWords for small business internet marketing, there may be some interesting real-world effects.
"What we found, and what seems to be quite encouraging, is that online campaigns for retailers seem to have a brick-and-mortar impact" said RapidBlue chief operating office Sampo Parkkinen to VentureBeat, a major industry blog.
Using the Google AdWords campaigns set up by retailers, RapidBlue implemented its analytics program at these shops and watched for any noticeable changes in customer behaviors. In addition, the program remained installed at the participating stores for a short time after their internet marketing campaigns ended, so as to measure its lasting effectiveness.
RapidBlue found that the shops using Google AdWords campaigns saw increased foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores as well as the amount of time visitors spent inside each store. While the company's press release did not provide any sales data, it's safe to say that having more customers spend time in-store gives sales associates and owners a much greater chance to guide consumers in their sales decisions.
RapidBlue's study shows that while online retail may be growing, using targeted internet marketing campaigns helps small businesses and retailers not only increase foot traffic and customer interest, but could also potentially help with brand loyalty and retaining a strong customer base.