Zenreach’s Walk-Through Rate™  solves a major problem for businesses with physical locations, like restaurants and fashion retailers. There has never been a precise way to tell if digital ads actually bring people in. You can measure clicks, but clicks aren’t always customers.

The Walk-Through Rate works like a click-through rate does for a website. Except instead of telling the business if someone clicked, it shows when someone exposed to an ad visits a physical location. It’s an advancement that has profound implications for real-world retailers, where nearly 90% of purchases still happen.

Before this, businesses were more or less stuck using online measures of success like clicks or likes which don’t always correlate with in-store results. There were also inaccurate workarounds like coupon redemptions, loyalty programs and customer comment cards. But without a firm, trackable connection to the customer visit, digital marketing was always in the dark about this most important step of the buyer’s journey.

The cookie connection

The ability to track a customer’s journey from exposure to a marketing message to a transaction helped ecommerce explode. It allowed marketers to measure success based on business impact, and understand intermediate steps along the way to optimize  for maximum performance.

Cookies are the key to online tracking measures. They remember information and keep track of preferences. They measure visits to web pages and recognize when someone returns.  

Zenreach’s head of product, Kai Umezawa, says, “What brick-and-mortar businesses really needed was a cookie, but for real people walking into physical locations.” This would enable direct offline attribution, giving merchants the ability to tie online marketing to offline actions such as in-store visits and sales.

How the Walk-Through Rate works

95% of Americans own a mobile device of some kind, so demand for WiFi at businesses has skyrocketed. Customers commonly exchange a piece of contact information, usually an email address, for WiFi access. As a result, it’s easy for  WiFi access points in business locations to form a network for measuring store visits.

By inviting customers to use free WiFi, merchants can track customer visits, automatically build customer profiles and keep them up to date. Kai says, “A WiFi signal can be used like an offline ‘cookie’ and a trigger for communication, just like a website visit is used in the online world.”

When a customer visits after seeing a marketing message, that’s considered a Walk-Through. We calculate a ratio based on how many people saw the ad and the number who come in afterward.

Measure what matters most

The Walk-Through Rate provides real-world businesses with a powerful metric to better understand and drive their marketing efforts. Using detailed reporting, marketers can tune their emails and ads for maximum impact. For example, if your goal is to attract males 18-25, but you see more in the 40-50 range walking in, you might think about focusing more on the older segment, or reevaluating what will attract the younger group.

The Walk-Through Rate is the latest step forward in the evolution of marketing metrics. It removes the guesswork from evaluating the impact of digital marketing, and provides a new level understanding for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.

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