A joint research study conducted by native ad platform Sharethrough and location analytics provider Placed indicates that native ads drive traffic into physical stores more efficiently than traditional display ads.
The companies studied the national campaigns of three brands for the research: a popular quick service restaurant chain, a nationwide apparel brand and a major global consumer electronics company.
The findings indicate that native ads drive significant lifts in in-store traffic, with people exposed to native ads proving to be 21 percent more likely on average to visit a brand’s physical retail location than those who didn’t see the advertisements.
Another key takeaway from the study is that native ads drive in-store traffic more efficiently than display ads. “The brands Sharethrough and Placed studied drove traffic to their stores through native ads at an effective cost of 41 cents per visit,” Sharethrough wrote in its report. “The major consumer electronics brand drove in-store traffic to stores selling their products at 22 cents a visit, a high cost-efficiency that was 84 percent lower than Placed’s benchmark.”
Additionally, the study found that the impact from native ads reflected a significant return on investment. “The quick service restaurant chain examined was able to drive sales from people exposed to their native ad campaign equivalent to a 20x return on their native spend,” Sharethrough wrote.
Although these findings certainly seem to indicate that native ads could have a major effect on in-store traffic, there are many other factors that weren’t considered, such as what percentage of the tested ads were video or static, and whether they were delivered to mobile or desktop.
Marketing Land reports that Sharethrough CEO and founder Dan Greenberg indicated that advertisers should “take it with a grain of salt” that the native ads were the only driver of traffic, saying that there were most likely “plenty of other factors.” Greenberg said the two companies will continue their research into determining the effect of native ads on in-store traffic.
“Across multiple verticles, Sharethrough’s native advertising has been proven to drive significant incremental lift in people seeking out their products in stores,” said David Shim, Founder and CEO of Placed. “This native approach – with less audience interruption – has consistently delivered outsized results, and has proven itself as a must-have in any buy where offline results are a key metric.”