Will Weekly Ads Save Retailers Any $$$?


Image from: target weekly ad / thethriftyblonde.com

Ecommerce continues to be a growing and competitive retail channel. But the question still remains, what is the best way to reach consumers before, during and after a purchase?

According to a BDO.com survey, “with ecommerce accounting for a larger share of overall sales, CFOs report that digital promotions worked well for them over the holiday period. 1 in 3 said that email and social media promotions were a top strategy, double the percentage who cited free shipping.”

Now that holiday promotions are behind us, we decided to look at weekly ads – since something is always on sale on any given week – and this is the way retailers highlight them — do they have any impact on overall site conversion?

Compete’s newest product, FastFocus, connects the dots for sales funnel performance, loyalty and engagement, and offline channel impact. As retailers continue to use coupons and promotions to drive sales we decided to dive further into the online impact that an offline channel can have.

Looking at daily reach over the last 30 days for the weekly ad for Target and Wal-Mart, we can see that on the release of the weekly ad, traffic spikes for the retailers.


Both Target and Wal-Mart sites have seen an increase of traffic year over year with traffic from Walmart.com to localad.walmart.com seeing a bigger monthly change.


What is interesting to note is that Wal-Mart sees a spike in reach on Fridays while Target sees a spike in reach on Sundays. Retailers certainly see a bump in reach due to weekly ad release, but is that affecting the purchase decision? If a consumer sees the ad for Wal-Mart on Friday, are the deals at Target even considered anymore?

Is Target leaving money on the table by not releasing their weekly ad two days earlier?

Key questions to ask:

    • Can retailers encouraging repeat visits to these page likely increase store loyalty?
    • Does a repeat spike in reach indicate that the same visitors viewing the ad again, before purchasing sale items?
    • Is there any offline impact? Are weekly ads driving consumers to the brick and mortar stores?
    • Are the same consumers who are viewing Target’s weekly ad also visiting Wal-Marts’ weekly ad?


Looking forward:

Let’s go beyond this and look at cross shop behavior, loyalty metrics like new vs. returning and checkout start rate to see if weekly ad spend is driving conversion. Stay tuned for the follow-up next week.

About Alyssa Maine:
Alyssa is on the Inside Sales team here at Millward Brown Digital, working within the Financial Services and Technology & Entertainment industries delivering digital intelligence that helps clients improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Find Alyssa on Twitter at @alyssamaine or connect with her on Linkedin.