LONDON: Things may look gloomy on the UK high street, with retailers facing increasing costs and twin threats from e-commerce and D2C brands, but digital ads can help drive footfall according to new research.

The UK Guide to Retail Marketing Effectiveness from On Device Research was based on a survey of 500 adult smartphone owners.

This highlighted how mobile plays an increasingly important role in shopping habits with 29% of UK consumers claiming to have bought groceries on their mobile phone in the last three months.

Even if a purchase isn’t fulfilled on mobile, this still plays a crucial role in the path to purchase: 55% used their mobile to check prices and 30% read product reviews when in store.

Mobile is “the ideal platform for growing mental availability by influencing brand consideration”, the report stated, referencing separate research on ad testing.

This found an average uplift of 9.1 percentage points in unaided brand awareness following ad exposure, while further down the purchase funnel there was an average uplift in purchase intent of 1.9 percentage points.

And when On Device Research and Location Science combined mobile geo-location data and passive ad tracking technology to provide a clear picture of lower funnel impact, they found an average 14.2% uplift in store footfall following exposure to a digital ad campaign.

The report also observed how retailers are failing to generate effective emotional responses from consumers.

“The emotion vs purchase intent dynamic is one that entertainment, tech and consumer electronics brands have taken advantage of to great effect,” it noted, “but it’s an area in which retail brands need to work a lot harder.”

Sourced from On Device Research; additional content by WARC staff