October 15, 2009

Could POS (Point of Sale) and O2S (Online to Store) be related? Absolutely!

Remember ‘back in the day’ (prior to 1978) when there was no Point Of Sale data? Retailers would spend millions of dollars on advertising with no link to what was selling at the cash register. There were no scan-able bar codes to help understand inventory levels, which products sold on what day, how many products sold, and what sales or marketing function was responsible for the sale. When bar codes and scanners debuted it changed business as we knew it – creating accountability as it relates to what products were selling, when they were selling, and if advertising had an effect on how many were sold.

Sound familiar? It should, someday you may be talking to someone in marketing and saying, ‘remember back in the day when we didn’t have O2S data? When advertisers weren’t aware of what effect their online marketing programs were having on their in-store sales, but instead were only optimizing and taking credit for sales on their website?’ Online To Store research is transforming retail today based on the ability to test digital marketing during a specified period of time and measure exactly what happens to sales not only online through eCommerce, but possibly more importantly – in-store in test markets.

This is the Holy Grail of advertising and marketing funding if you think about it. So today, my challenge for you, Mr. or Mrs. Retailer is to take the data that O2S case studies or in-house tests are providing and put your marketing money where the results are – using the wisdom of the testing crowds! Just like back in 1978…

– Jay Bowden, AMA Marketing Technology Chair, Google Retail Team

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