Technology that connects buyers to eCommerce options, increases sales and strengthens partnerships with retailers.
Today’s ecommerce consumers are driven by mobile and “Google-in-moment” decisions. Buyers expect to thumb through products, condense their research into a few minutes and immediately find available “one-click” purchase options at the lowest price.
Research shows that consumers are incorporating a visit to the brand’s website during their purchase process. In fact, a Deloitte survey estimates that 80% of retail shoppers visited the brand site prior to making a purchase. Yet studies show more than half of consumers still want to buy from a brick and mortar location. Current friction in the hand-off between online brand sites and retail locations is stretching an already stressed retail model even further.
What can a brand do to best serve their online customers while catering to those who prefer to buy through retail?
weBoost, a signal booster for mobile devices, found itself in this familiar situation. Though they were spending substantial marketing dollars to drive traffic into retail locations, they lacked data proving traffic resulted in actual sales.
weBoost had to close the loop on conversions to justify continued spending, and understand how to improve and optimize the customer journey.
weBoost chose Brandleap as their ‘Where to Buy’ service to better track marketing ROI, and grow retail sales – both online, and in the store.
Brandleap is a next generation ‘Where to Buy’ service which combines a retail locator, retail marketplace, and shopping cart, enabling a consumer to locate a product and make a retail purchase while remaining on the brand website. This allows the brand and retailer to capture the sale while the consumer is most passionate about the product. In doing so, Brandleap delivers online sales growth, increased conversion metrics, and the ability to track marketing ROI, all while providing more value to the retail partner.
“Brands need to take control of their ‘Where to Buy’ service the way our client weBoost has,” said James Arth, head of Business Development & Sales at Brandleap, described their ecommerce enabled ‘Where to Buy’ technology.
The Brandleap solution is designed to help brands make the best use of their web traffic in a way that mutually benefits the brand and retailer. By offering consumers retail purchase options directly from the brand site, brands see increased sales, increase return on ad spend, protect against competition, and increase their fulfillment capabilities by offering additional online fulfillment options, and providing pickup capability in the store.
Retailers benefit by increased retail sales, access to a new customer profile, and a new source of store foot traffic.
“A brand’s website is a critical consumer research point. Brands drive visitors to the next steps in the sales cycle through reviews and ultimately, conversion points and sales is essential. Brandleap helps to keep prospects on a brand website, influences retail shopping behavior, and ultimately increases retail sales.” Arth said.
After coming to weBoost from Belkin in 2015, Jamie Elgie, Chief Marketing Officer for Wilson Electronics (which manages the weBoost brand) encountered some familiar problems. Keeping the website updated with retailer requests across multiple SKUs was getting very messy. They needed a solution.
But more critical, there were significant marketing dollars being spent to drive hot prospect traffic to dealers for conversion, yet it was impossible to determine the ROI.
“Website traffic is not free,” said Elgie. “While we had numbers on volume and it was good, without sales figures we couldn’t show a return on investment.”
Elgie said since weBoost was being promoted through multiple channels online without conversion numbers attached to it, it was impossible to tell which promotions were working and optimize and double down on the successful promotions.
In the end were they simply driving awareness for the category or driving conversions for their own brand?
“What intrigued me about the entire Brandleap value proposition from the start is I could benefit my retail channel by giving them sales, but do so without losing customers by sending them someplace where they buy a competitor’s product,” Elgie said.
Brandleap functions essentially as a retail shopping cart on a brand or product page, displaying online retailer options and allowing visitors to purchase online, on the page.
Arth said Brandleap’s key attribute is it enables a retailer solution to ecommerce while protecting the conversion.
“Today our brand overall is up significantly year-over-year and our sales are up significantly year-over-year,” Elgie said. “Obviously you can’t attribute that to any one thing but from here, it sure seems to be working.”
Arth said those results are not uncommon.
“Too often, Brands spend thousands of dollars to drive traffic to a conversion point only to lose the customer when they buy a competing product on retailer’s site,” Arth said. “Brandleap puts a barrier around that by enabling the consumer to buy the product from the retailer of their choice when they are most passionate about the product. The consumer chooses their retailer, their fulfillment method, and completes the purchase WITHOUT being exposed to competing solutions. And it’s all 100 percent measurable.”
Elgie said online sales for weBoost through Brandleap are very strong. And 80 percent of the sales through Brandleap are BOPIS for pick up at a retail location, which makes it an easier sell to partners and strengthens channel relationships.
“And that’s a powerful outcome,” Arth said. “Accommodating online fulfillment is tables stakes. But when you’ve driven the customer into the store with a sale already completed, that’s the opportunity to build a relationship with someone who might not have come in at all without Brandleap.”
“All of the research is showing us that shoppers are self-educating. There is a desire to buy online, and pick up in the store,” Arth said. “And that is a tremendous opportunity for retailers relying on the brand for content and pre-qualifying a prospect.”
What are the main reasons shoppers pick up an online order in a store (5)
To avoid shipping fees: 73.0%
The store was nearby, and it was convenient to just pick it up: 32.2%
Needed the purchase that day and couldn't wait for delivery: 30.4%
Was going to that store anyway, wanted to be sure item in stock: 21.7%
Worried about deliveries to my home being stolen: 9.6%
Coupon to pick online order in the store was offered: 7.0%
A KPMG study (6) found price, preferred retailer, and delivery method are critical factors in a consumer’s decision-making process. Another study found online fulfillment is still a strong preference, more than a third of those shoppers buying online prefer to pick up in the store (7).
“In every category of the research we’re finding that shoppers need a retail option for many different reasons. Brandleap addresses those needs,” Arth said.
For weBoost, the Brandleap solution has expanded beyond original expectations. Customers can now purchase directly from weBoost or, choose an online or brick-and-mortar retailer, as most still do.
Elgie said this has led to significantly more innovation in their retailer programs and created new incentives.
As a self-managed application, Brandleap is easily scalable – just add products and connect them to the retailers. And the product embeds seamlessly within a retail website.
Research sources such as Gartner and Forrester both underscore the importance of brand and product websites to educate and pre-qualify customers. The key ingredients to conversion in addition to content is online visibility, positive product reviews and a simple, streamlined purchase path.
Arth said the key to success is committing to a pilot, learning from initial successes, and scaling quickly.
“We know how consumers are shopping today – With Brandleap, we are helping to turn the threat of ecommerce into an opportunity for brands and their retailers,” Arth said.
Visit Brandleap.com for more information.Download weBoost Case Study