Mark Dirks

Connect in-store sales to online marketing efforts with GAFUSION

Est. Reading Time: 6 minutes

Let’s cut to the chase here.  If you are a multi-channel merchant, you are probably viewing analytics through old prescription lenses.  You’re seeing the best you can with what you have.  More than likely, you are also making important business decisions based on a blurry and incomplete view of the data.  It’s time to update your prescription and see your analytics data much more precisely.

glassesKeep in mind that your Google Analytics data is only tied to the online world.  It only records activity associated with your website.  Not your brick-and-mortar store.  Not your call center.  So how will you ever know how digital marketing effects your offline world, not to mention your entire business as a whole?  Our clients frequently grumbled about this, but now we have an answer:  GAFUSION.

Here’s what some of our clients are now saying as a result of using GAFUSION.

“GAFUSION is making us rethink our digital marketing strategy.”

“5.7% of our in-store sales is linked to online marketing efforts.”

“Revenue related to PPC was 16% higher than we realized.”

“SEO produced 28% more revenue that we thought.”

“40% of the revenue from our email campaigns occurs in our stores.”

“4X more in-store revenue was affected by Google Adwords, when compared to online revenue.”

“GAFUSION showed that our PPC efforts had a 204% higher ROAS.”

“With GAFUSION, we discovered that cart abandonment was a strong precursor to in-store sales.”

“GAFUSION revealed how important our online tools and detail pages are in driving in-store sales.”

“GAFUSION highlighted the importance of remarketing since higher value purchases in our stores typically occur 12-30 days after online interaction.”

I’ve been in the information technology business for over 30 years now.  I’ve learned that it’s one thing to talk about concepts and capabilities, but it’s quite another thing to actually make them happen.  One day, during the mid-90’s, before being assigned to direct the groundbreaking creation of AT&T’s global corporate intranet, I blurted out to management, “Are we going to just talk about this, or are we really going to do it?”  Next day, they gave me the reigns.  Beacon has taken the same approach toward building this bridge.

Google Analytics is the de facto analytics engine of choice.  There’s no need to replicate the years of expertise, investment and brain power behind GA’s engineers that took Urchin (the original GA) to what it is today.  Google recently came out with Universal Analytics as a foundation, or method, for connecting online and offline.  You can certainly find articles about Universal Analytics having this capability.  But make sure you understand the difference between “having the capability” and actually “making it happen”.  Remember when you setup your online store?  The ecommerce software had “all the capabilities” you needed, right?  But was it easy to make it happen?  I bet not.

So here are four issues that you should think about as the world moves toward integrated, centralized analytics.

1:  IT support will be required.  Most retailers have a separate system in place that processes in-store transactions.  While online transactions already “talk” to Google Analytics (if setup properly), purchases made in the store are usually completely divorced from the internet, and therefore, Google Analytics.  These in-store transactions require some level of processing in order to identify & collect the pertinent data, connect them back to online user activity and properly load them into Google Analytics.

2:  Universal GA.  Converting to Universal GA is a major undertaking, particularly for those who are well-established under classic/async GA.  Are you ready and able to make this transition?  Don’t get me wrong, Universal Analytics is an upgrade worth considering, but you have to make a business decision as to whether it’s necessary and feasible.  Small to mid-size businesses will probably struggle with pulling the trigger on this.  Either way, you still have to deal with issues 1, 3 and 4.

3:  Data Quality.  How are you going to ensure the data quality of your offline transactions as they make their way into Google Analytics?  Once it’s in GA, it’s there for good – no do-overs!  Your marketing and business decisions are dependent on managing the data from Issue #1 effectively and loading it into Google Analytics properly.  Keep in mind that when the data load process runs to completion without technical issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean the data is correct.  You know the old adage:  Bad data in means bad information out.  GA expertise is a necessity.

4:  Investment.  Does it make sense for every business to invest their resources (labor, dollars) to solve the same three common issues above?  In other words, do you really want to make a significant investment to solve one of the bigger challenges in the world of analytics?  Or would it be better to install an existing product so you can focus your energy on selling your products?

Marketers love to “talk” about centralized analytics and some are certainly providing a solution to their respective clients on a one-on-one, custom basis.  On the other hand, Beacon Technologies has taken the time to develop GAFUSION as a plug-and-play solution that makes it simple and affordable for multi-channel merchants to finally evaluate the effect that online marketing has on offline sales.  Businesses can jump right to the finish line to begin evaluating the data, gathering insights and tuning their strategies rather than initiating a development project to essentially recreate GAFUSION.

Leveraging 16 years in the web solutions business, Beacon brought its strong software development, digital marketing and hosting teams together to develop and deliver GAFUSION.  It handles all the work to bring in-store sales alongside online sales within Google Analytics.  GAFUSION works with either universal or classic GA.  In addition, GAFUSION is a subscription based (SaaS model) with no long-term commitments or penalties.  Behind the scenes, the software is setup under Beacon’s strict development processes with many cool features already planned to roll out in upcoming releases.  So as the online and offline worlds continue to grow closer and closer, GAFUSION users will automatically benefit from an ever-evolving platform.

One Trackback