Complete the Circle: Connecting the Online and Offline Customer Journeys

Connecting the Online and Offline Customer Journeys

As connecting the Online and Offline Customer Journeys – involving online and offline touchpoints supported by their mobile devices – it is more important than ever for retailers of all sizes to focus on delivering an omnichannel customer experience, writes Practicology’s Sam Gaunt.

Got a mature analytics platform? Great! Have a physical store where customers interact with your business face-to-face? Excellent!


But are you connecting those experiences together?



Let’s put the two halves together!


You can’t get a comprehensive view of your relationship with your customers without tying together the offline and online streams together into one comprehensive snapshot.


Here are some of the ways that your potential customers interact with you online:

  • General website browsing;
  • Clicking on text and/or image advertisements; and
  • Exposure to ad-supported streaming video

Information about this interaction can be captured through tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Marketing Cloud.


And offline:

  • Subscription forms for an email list notifying customers of upcoming promotions, completed in-person at the retail point of sale; and
  • Purchasing history, stored in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. This could be a remote CRM system like Salesforce, or a custom-built in house solution built on top of relational database systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, or Oracle.


Why is connecting the online and offline interactions so vital to your business’s success?


If marketing data is stored in different silos, it is extremely difficult to identify the most successful marketing channels. Without connecting the acquisition channel data in the analytics tool and the purchase history in the CRM, you’re left scratching your head wondering how your potential customers became your actual customers.


The worst thing? This happens all the time!  Who does it happen to?

  • Hotels, where customers come to the website to book a reservation online, but then pay in-person at the hotel;
  • Car dealerships, where customers browse cars and book test drives online, but pay and process transfer forms at the dealership, offline; and
  • Many more businesses!


Connecting the Online and Offline Customer Journeys

The two forms of customer-business interactions, brought together.


How do we put this all together?


Two simple steps:

  1. Join the datasets on the specific users; and
  2. Bring the datasets together..


There are several ways to tackle the first step:

  1. Store a cookie in the CRM when the user makes a reservation online;
  2. Store a CRM-generated Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) in the analytics tool; or
  3. Send a cookie and CRM-generated UUID to a unified database.


After that’s done, we bring all the data together. This is where the pipelines and platform come in handy. Finally, we can answer the critical marketing questions, like:

  • Which marketing campaigns bring in the most valuable customers?
  • Which marketing campaigns bring in the most long-term customers?
  • Do some marketing channels bring in lower-value customers?
  • What other products could specific customers be interested in based on their browsing behaviour?


Want to Boost the Performance of Marketing? Want to Connect the Online and Offline Customer Journeys , book a Free Demo of Windsor’s Marketing Attribution Software, to see how it helps you get the best out of your marketing activities.

You might also like to read:

Complete Guide to using Power BI for Digital Marketing

A B2B Marketing Attribution Guide for Advanced Marketers in 2022

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