Social media and mobile go hand-in-hand. The vast majority of consumers are using their mobile devices to access social media sites. According to comScore, 80 percent of all social media time is spent on mobile devices. And with more consumers opting to shop on their smartphones, it makes perfect sense that retailers would combine the two — social media and mobile — to target and capture customers via digital ads.
In a session this week at the Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago, Jason Gowans, vice president, marketing analytics, technology, Nordstrom, discussed how the upscale department store retailer is using location-based ads on Facebook to help drive in-store traffic.
"Retail used to be pretty straightforward," noted Gowans. "That's no longer the case. The journey is no longer linear — lots of different ways to place an order, fulfill an order, receive an order."
With that in mind, Nordstrom has invested marketing budget to capture the attention of fashion-conscious consumers on Facebook. The retailer shares its product catalog with Facebook, which enables the social network to target consumers with relevant products based on the data known about the user.
"Facebook's data plus our data gives us more info on the customer — close the loop in the profile," Gowans said. "We're stitching together the data of in-store and online, and omnichannel shoppers are more valuable."
Mother's Day Test Proves to Be a Success
This past Mother's Day, Nordstrom ran an A/B test on Facebook featuring ads that included directions to nearest store for the recipient vs. a segment that received ads without directions to the closest store. The test was conducted over a two-week period, with equal budgets for each segment. The group that received the ads with store directions yielded a lift in both e-commerce and omnichannel (digital and in-store) sales.
"At the end of the day, it’s about reaching our customer — and she’s on Facebook and Instagram," said Gowans. "It’s about driving incrementality."
Gowans conceded that digital ad campaigns can be challenged to also move the needle for in-store sales, but Nordstrom has been pleased with the results it has seen from its location-based Facebook ads.