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Online display advertising is very effective in driving in-store grocery sales, particularly rich media executions that feature localized circular pricing and product information, according to new research by Nielsen Catalina Solutions, and Supervalu, Inc.
In response to consumer changes in media consumption and the rise in consumers shopping online, Supervalu teamed up with New York-based PointRoll and its retail division, ShopLocal, to explore the use of new media and cutting edge ways to enhance how it reaches customers online. The companies tested interactive banner advertising that dynamically created a display ad hyper-relevant to each store location at the moment of delivery. Through the campaign, Supervalu proved the value of an online display campaign in cost-effectively driving penetration and in-store sales.
“This study not only enabled us to better understand our customers and respond to their changing media habits, but to acutely measure the value of our online spend and the benefits of more relevant and activation-based advertising,” said Shelly Nelson, director of connections strategy and media for Supervalu. “Online delivery of weekly sale items is cost-effective and is relevant to today’s consumer.”
The joint study, which measured more than 30 million impressions delivered by PointRoll, found that Supervalu created an overall increase in in-store sales during the three-month interactive banner campaign period. Additionally, the interactive, localized PointRoll expandable ad unit known as a PaperBoy eCircular significantly outperformed the standard non-expanding flash advertisement. The PaperBoy ad sales lift among exposed households was three times higher compared with a standard ad lift, even though the average frequency on the standard ads was 75 percent higher. The average cost per thousand (CPM) was the same for both the standard non-expanding and expandable PaperBoy ads.
“As a result of these findings, Supervalu has doubled the weekly impressions of this ad unit in the banners already utilizing it and will continue to roll out this program at additional banners throughout the year,” added Nelson.
PointRoll works with brands to create, deliver and measure more powerful and effective advertising. “Industry leaders like Supervalu know that interactive ads enriched with data such as relevant localized offers drive engagement and response, and have proven it with this Nielsen Catalina Solutions study,” said Cat Spurway-Hepler, VP of strategy for PointRoll.
Through the study, SUPERVALU also was able to better understand what characteristics comprised various household segments, finding that one particular segment accounted for only 31 percent of impressions yet drove 69 percent of incremental sales.
“Our ability to quantify the impact of online ad exposure on store traffic helps retailers like Supervalu better plan their marketing expenditures,” said Steve Warshaw, SVP at Nielsen Catalina Solutions. “It’s not enough to just look at the increase in offline sales and ROI from an online campaign, but the drivers that contributed including number of shoppers, basket sizes, characteristics of each household segment and the impact on competitive marketers.”
These positive sales results from online advertising are consistent with findings from analyses of 500+ campaigns conducted by Nielsen Catalina Solutions.
The Supervalu and Nielsen Catalina Solutions’ NetEffect study evaluated a campaign that ran across multiple sub-brands and geographic regions including Supervalu’s Albertsons, Cub Foods, Jewel-Osco, Shaws, and ACME banners. It evaluated sales among three Nielsen Homescan panel household groups:
- Consumers exposed to a rich media expandable display ad featuring localized circular product and pricing information
- Consumers exposed to a basic, non-expanding flash display ad
- Consumers not exposed to any display ad
The study identified households exposed to the Supervalu online ad campaign and compared it to the offline purchasing behavior of those who were not exposed to the campaign. PointRoll embedded Nielsen’s SiteCensus tracking into both the standard flash and Paperboy eCircular ads enabling profiling of the exposed audience by format. The impact on sales was then identified by exposed households that also reported offline purchase activity via Nielsen’s Homescan panel. The study measured offline sales impact, incremental sales generated, underlying drivers of sales, purchase size and halo effect.
Supervalu operastes approximately 1,140 traditional retail stores, including 816 in-store pharmacies; 1,240 hard-discount stores, of which 890 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,890 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s traditional food distribution business.
PointRoll, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc., is a provider of digital marketing services and technology enabling advertisers, agencies, and Web publishers to create, deliver, and measure interactive and action-inspiring online video, rich media display, mobile, social, and search campaigns.