Posted March 20, 2007 5:16 pm by with 10 comments

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John Kim, Senior Director of Advertiser Product Marketing for Yahoo! Search Marketing, delivered a keynote at eComXpo today called “The Next Wave of Advertising.”

One thing that really caught my attention was some statistics that he shared about conversions. He mentioned how important it is to track offline conversions, and then shared some numbers. I don’t know where they came from, but I’m just happy to have data. (I love data. The pie chart is my friend.)

Anyway, his data indicates that only 1% of conversions happen online in the same session as the initial search. Another 7% convert online later (latent conversions). But 92% of conversions happen offline.

How can you better track the 92%? Here’s one example: I get asked my ZIP code all the time to help stores figure out where they should focus their future growth. I say ONLINE. Ask if I visited your website before I came, or how I found you.

I don’t think this means, however, that online-only stores should build B&Ms just to increase their growth 😉 .

  • Wow, I knew that the % would be high, but I would have thought it to be in the 70-80% range.

  • One way to greatly improve such tracking ability is if/when (the most astute are already doing this) the merchant offers bar-coded, website ID’d coupons; which would be entered upon check out at the B&M.

    Note also this good/bad news should such tracking systems become commonplace: Higher CPCs due to more accurate ROI measurements…

    …as an aside, the next wave of advertising will include a more accurate, simpler-to-use, and reduced click fraud form of PPC advertising where companies are able to bid directly on the traits and characteristics (keytraits) of their most desired customers, instead of just the words we all enter into the search boxes.

  • I know you said you don’t know – but I would LOVE to see where that 92% came from? That seems way to high. I’ll put some more thought to it but initially it just seems like that number is way high. Thanks for the article.

  • Since Yahoo! is an online company, it makes sense if they are able to track online conversions and not offline ones. I seriously wonder how they manage to come up with those figures, and where.

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  • Jordon,

    That’s a very interesting stat. Is there a source of that? All I could online is this 2004 comScore tidbit:

    “The comScore research studied the buying activity of Internet users who conducted a consumer electronics or computer (CE/C) search at one of the top 25 search engines in Q1 2004. Among the other findings, the study revealed that 25 percent of searchers ultimately purchased a CE/C product and that an estimated 92 percent of these purchases occurred offline. Among the 8 percent of post-search purchases that were made online, the vast majority occurred in subsequent user sessions (not directly after a search click-through).”


  • Jordan McCollum

    They didn’t mention a source in the audio or the visuals, but I’ll bet that’s it.

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