Online shopping is booming in the post-pandemic world — in 2022, e-commerce sales crossed the $1 trillion threshold for the first time in the US alone. However, retail is far from dead — in fact, it still accounts for 87% of all sales.

Since the majority of sales are still taking place in brick-and-mortar stores, retail business owners are looking for ways to measure the impact of their online campaigns in the offline world. 

With so many tools now available for measuring online attribution, marketers looking to get ahead of the competition are now turning to footfall analytics to determine the number of visitors being driven to their stores by online campaigns. 

Footfall attribution helps you understand the relationship between online campaigns and offline sales and can provide insights into your customers’ behavior that can help you optimize your ad campaigns. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of footfall attribution and some best practices to help you get it right.

What Is Footfall Attribution?

Footfall — or foot traffic — attribution is a way of measuring the number of people who visit your retail stores after viewing one of your online ad campaigns. It gives you a more complete picture of the effectiveness of your ads, as it shows you their impact offline. 

Footfall attribution can help you understand consumer behavior and demographics. By looking at who visits your stores and how long they spend there, you can leverage the information to drive more engagement.

Additionally, analyzing footfall data can help you optimize cross-channel advertising campaigns by identifying which channels and strategies are most effective at driving in-store traffic. You can use these actionable insights to optimize future campaigns and ensure maximum impact and return on ad spend.

5 Tips for Measuring Footfall Traffic

Measuring footfall attribution requires gathering location data from customers’ smartphones and mobile devices and attributing them to online campaigns. 

One way to evaluate the success of a campaign is to measure any lifts in foot traffic following your campaign — for example, by comparing the percentage of people in your retail stores who have been exposed to your ad with the percentage of people who have not been exposed. 

Use the following five tips to measure foot traffic effectively. 

1. Use a Multi-Touch Attribution Approach

Consumer journeys are rarely a one-touch process, and most customers interact with multiple touchpoints before visiting a store. By using a multi-touch attribution approach and linking data from several sources across various phases of the consumer journey, you can:

  • Reduce the uncertainty that comes from the complexity of the offline buyer journey.
  • Gain a more accurate understanding of how your marketing campaigns impact footfall.
  • Optimize your campaigns accordingly.

2. Use the Right Data

Not all foot traffic data is created equal. Seasonality, location, weather, local events, and other offline factors can significantly influence footfall data, making it difficult to accurately attribute success solely to marketing efforts. For example, footfall might be higher during holiday seasons or weekends, making it harder to assess the impact of a particular campaign or strategy.

To address this issue, consider developing internal indices for comparing performance. You can tailor these indices to a variety of factors such as location, time of day, or any other external factors that may influence footfall. 

This method can help provide a more accurate picture of how effective a specific campaign or strategy has been in driving customer behavior. For example, a retailer with multiple locations could compare the performance of different stores by taking into account each location’s unique characteristics, such as foot traffic patterns, local events, and seasonal trends. This would help identify which stores are performing well and which may require additional assistance or attention.

3. Measure Attribution Against Benchmarks

How can you tell how your campaigns measure up against competitors in your industry? By using attribution benchmarks. The most important metrics to measure against are:

  • Brand uplift: This measures the impact of ad exposure in driving in-store visits and the percentage difference in visitation rates between exposed and unexposed groups
  • Visit rate: Identifies the average daily Point of Interest (POI) visits. POI describes specific locations that are of interest to a particular audience or user group
  • Dwell time: The amount of time spent at a specific POI
  • CPIV (cost per incremental visit): The budget spend required for one incremental visit
  • CPV (cost per visit): the budget spent required for all visits to the store

4. Understand the Customer Journey

Footfall attribution is just one piece of the customer journey puzzle. To truly understand how marketing campaigns impact footfall, you need to be familiar with your customer’s entire journey from awareness to purchase. 

By mapping out this journey, you can identify the touchpoints that have the most significant impact on footfall and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

5. Define Clear KPIs and Success Metrics

It’s essential to define clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for footfall attribution. These KPIs should align with your overall business objectives and help measure the success of your ad campaigns. 

Some examples of KPIs for footfall attribution include:

  • Store visit rate
  • Store visit duration
  • Cost per store visit 

It’s equally important to define success markers for each campaign since the parameters of success may vary from one campaign to another. For instance, a campaign for perishable household goods will have different success metrics than a car sales campaign because of the frequency and repetition of purchase — you might buy tomatoes every week, but may only buy a car once every ten to twenty years.

Optimize Your Ad Campaigns with Footfall Attribution

Measuring footfall traffic with footfall attribution can be a useful way to understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and how they influence customer behavior in physical retail spaces. 

However, footfall attribution is complex, and many retail businesses prefer to partner with adtech specialists like Grapeseed Media to run, optimize, and accurately measure their ad campaigns both online and offline. 

Got questions about incorporating footfall attribution into your marketing strategy? Grapeseed’s team of adtech experts is on hand to answer all of them — book a call with us for an obligation-free consultation.