How to Optimize Your Digital Campaigns With Footfall Attribution

a graphic depicting footfall attribution

In today’s digital world, consumers are browsing products and services across different channels and devices. Although it’s common for consumers to start their buying journey online, around 87% of US retail sales still happen offline, in physical stores. 

E-commerce adoption continues to grow, in fact, it’s expected to reach 23.6% of total retail sales by 2025. But it’s clear that many consumers still visit stores in person, even if they start their journey browsing online. 

It’s essential for brands to explore ways that they can bridge this gap between online and offline shopping behaviour. One way to do it? Through footfall attribution. 

What is Footfall Attribution

Footfall attribution (also known as foot traffic attribution) is the method used to relate campaign impressions or conversions to actual store visits. It helps you understand how your digital ads are contributing to the foot traffic at brick and mortar locations. This measurement tactic can help you gather data to determine the offline impact of your ads. 

Through footfall attribution, you’re able to understand how your campaigns are performing against your target audience. This is done by evaluating how effective your campaign was in driving store visits and revenue lift across all platforms and channels, including offline channels. 

How to Measure Footfall 

Footfall attribution works by collecting data and then analyzing it to draw actionable insights. Let’s walk through the process step by step. 

Step 1: Start with Data Collection

Footfall attribution starts with data collection. A consumer is exposed to a campaign online. Later, when they enter a store, their visit is tracked by a system, like a trusted app partner, that has access to location data that is provided by that consumer’s phone. This is all transparent to the user.

Step 2: Analyze the Data

The high-quality (and privacy compliant!) data that is collected then needs to be analyzed. This helps you to understand the visit uplift between users that have been exposed to ads against a control group that has not. 

Step 3: Reporting and Insights

The final result in footfall attribution is a report that summarizes the findings of your analyzed data. This report provides you with actionable insights that can be leveraged to optimize your digital marketing efforts.  

The Benefits of Footfall Attribution

Shopping behaviours and habits are always evolving. The main benefit of footfall attribution is that it will help you to keep a pulse on those current shopping trends, and provide you meaningful insights to inform optimizations to your retail marketing strategy for offline results. 

Let’s dig into the benefits of footfall attribution further. 

Understand the Impact of Your Campaigns

Bridging online and offline consumer behaviour is incredibly important, because understanding what online touchpoints are driving consumers into stores will provide the insights needed to optimize those online efforts. The valuable metrics provided by footfall attribution can help you measure return on ad spend (ROAS), and provide actionable improvements for your future campaigns. 

Discover Valuable Insights About Your Customers

Footfall attribution delivers insights about consumer behaviour in the offline world. You’ll learn how long they spend in the store, when and how often they visit, and which stores are visited the most. You can leverage these customer insights to inform your campaign strategy. 

Optimize Your Multi-Channel Strategy 

Footfall attribution helps you measure and compare the effectiveness of your campaign across channels like native, display, video, connected TV (CTV), over-the-top (OTT), and audio. Adjusting your multi-channel strategy based on footfall attribution findings will ensure you’re leveraging the right mix of channels to reach your desired audience. 

Footfall Attribution Benchmarks

To really succeed with footfall attribution, you’ll need to measure it against benchmarks. Doing so shows you how well your campaigns perform against your peers in the same industry, and to assess if there is room for improvement.

The two main benchmarks that footfall attribution will provide you are brand uplift and visit rate. 

  • Brand uplift measures the impact of ad exposure in driving in-store visits. It’s a key metric to help you better understand the performance of your campaigns. It also helps measure consumer compatibility and what type of relationship a brand has with its consumers.
  • Visit rate identifies the relationship between ad impressions and in-store visits. When it comes to footfall attribution, the visit rate along with the uplift rate will help you uncover the number of people who are in a store at a given time, and how many of them visited because they viewed your ad. 

Brand uplift and visit rate are incredibly valuable insights, but you do need to analyze them against industry benchmarks to really understand their performance. You can access benchmark data in a couple different ways, but Cuebiq releases Footfall Attribution Benchmarks reports every year.

Use Foot Traffic Attribution to Understand Campaign Impact

Retail marketers today are facing the challenge of connecting their programmatic campaigns with offline sales lift. One way to address this challenge is through footfall attribution. It will provide you the reporting you need to connect ad exposure to real-world behaviour, and it will help you to measure the impact of digital and digital out-of-home ads on in-store visits.

Want to run exceptional programmatic campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.