A recent 2-year study on how offline sales benefit from online marketing efforts has found that for every $1 of ecommerce revenue generated from paid-search ads, another $6 was generated in-store. At Shop To It our clients routinely get online returns of between $15-$20. When you add on the additional 6x for in-store sales the staggering $90 -120 return on advertising spend (ROAS) simply can no longer be ignored by marketers.

Because they are multi-channel, many Canadian retailers have yet to carve out specific online advertising budgets for drive-to-store campaigns. Until recently, online budgets resided with ecommerce teams and in-store budgets with retail teams. Crossover is still scarce and more often than not, ecommerce campaigns don’t get the recognition they deserve for connecting online and offline sales. In fact, if in-store sales are omitted from paid-search ROI calculations, they will in many cases undervalue the paid-search channel’s contribution by as much as 85%.

What’s more, with the digital revolution changing the retail world, retailers should be motivated to launch multi-channel strategies. While you won’t likely lose your client base for not having one in place, a strong multi-channel game plan limits the probability of losing a tech savvy customer to another retailer.

As a local retailer, you may be asking, “if I don’t have the budget or a basic strategy, how do I even get started?” Well, with a little elbow grease you will find a ton of online opportunities, that you can employ to your benefit, like the ShopToIt Local Stores program.

The ShopToIt Local Stores program provides a free gateway to a multi-channel marketing strategy. The program gives Canadian retailers a local and online presence with a free store listing on the established ShopToIt shopping network and on the ShopToIt mobile application for iPhone. Retailers can engage with the program by going through a quick registration process called “claiming a store”, and can build out their listing by adding useful information about the location like store hours and the brands they sell. Registering, or “claiming a store” is completely free, and any additional information the retailer adds to the listing will increase their profile in store searches, resulting in more in-store traffic and sales. 15 minutes is literally all that stands between you and the start of your drive-to-store marketing campaign and multi-channel strategy.

In closing, Deloitte’s 2011 Holiday outlook survey revealed that 20% of Canadians plan to use mobile apps to aid and enhance their Christmas shopping this year – up 14% from last year. As a growing trend consumers are more likely than ever to research and enjoy the convenience of accessing location based store information on the go.

Make sure they can easily find you!

Learn more about how ShopToIt is helping Canadian retailers of all sizes, get the most from online and mobile searchers via the ShopToIt Local Stores program.