How many of us have searched online for quick and easy dinner recipes, or for food inspiration for special occasions? In fact, in the past two years, ‘food & grocery’ related searches containing ‘ideas’ have grown by over 40% on mobile devices in the Netherlands.1 With so many ingredients and ideas at our fingertips, mealtimes don’t need to be boring – or stressful.
Jumbo, a family-owned business and the second largest supermarket in the Netherlands, has tapped into these consumer needs. In the last few years they have launched an e-commerce shopping channel, opened a number of convenience stores, acquired Smulweb (the Netherlands’ largest online recipe community), and developed a shopping app to ensure they can connect with their customers on the devices they use most.
“Jumbo’s ambition is to become the omnichannel food retailer helping customers in their food-related journey from inspiration to purchase and consumption of goods, anytime and anywhere,” explains Marcel Schellekens, Head of online marketing at Jumbo supermarkets.
However, this isn’t without its challenges. “Over the past few years, we’ve learned that digital media has had a huge impact on e-commerce,” reveals Schellekens. “But it is still a challenge to measure the actual effect of digital media on offline behaviour.”
Establishing an attribution test
“On average, the consumer has increased the number of touchpoints before the actual purchase compared to just a few years ago,” says Schellekens. “Digital plays a major role in this.”
Jumbo found this to be even more difficult to understand when customers search for primary goods (meaning products meeting basic needs, such as food). Jumbo decided to see for themselves what this meant, so they collaborated with Dutch media agency IPG Mediabrands and Google to plan and execute the test.
Bespoke geo experiments were set up, enabling the supermarket to accurately measure and quantify Search’s effectiveness in increasing in-store sales. Search Ads were shown in specific regions and purposely not in other ‘control areas’ in order to calculate the difference in performance.
To assess the direct revenue impact of the adverts, the retailer chose to measure in-store sales rather than store visits. For this, it selected three product categories – detergents, gluten-free, and pastry – chosen to represent a range of involvement levels in the buying decision process.
“Though the product itself is not particularly innovative, using it to test the impact of online digital investments on offline results certainly is,” Schellekens explains.
After carefully reviewing the impressions and click-through rate (CTR) details of subgroupings of advertisements and subgroupings of the test group, Jumbo made significant discoveries, including:
- Engagement (CTR) was higher for less urbanised cities in more rural areas – meaning that people living in rural cities are more likely to be influenced by digital.
- Areas with a CTR of 10.5% or more showed an uplift of 0.71% in shop transactions compared to those with a lower CTR – meaning that optimising towards high engagement impacts in-store sales.
- Closer analysis also showed that niche products (i.e. gluten-free) had the highest click-through rates, and could potentially help drive customers to stores.
Lastly, it became clear that mobile advertising should be a priority for the brand, with a majority of ads (58.3%) being viewed on mobile, with mobile performance proving to attribute in sales better than other devices.
“Search is proven to be a mirror for offline store visits — higher engagements are leading to an increase in in-store transactions,” says Schellekens.
These findings have helped shape the way that Jumbo now conducts its advertising projects across various channels. Schellekens concludes: “The results gave us a clear understanding of customer behaviours, and a clear sense of the type of products that resonate more to the target audience, the areas to target and the device to use for search advertisements. In essence, it clarified how to design more effective advertisement plans.”