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Grosvenor and NearSt pilot boosts in-store sales

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

8 Sep 2021


Image: Pexels

Landlord Grosvenor has turned online shoppers into in-store customers through a pilot with Google-backed, NearSt, after investing in the retail tech start-up earlier this year.

The pilot campaign saw Grosvenor and NearSt using Google Local Inventory Ads to target shoppers within five miles of London’s Elizabeth Street and Mount Street shopping destinations in Mayfair and Belgravia to boost footfall and in-store sales during a pandemic.

The study focused on driving footfall to 15 fashion, jewellery and health and beauty retailers, including Creed, Stephen Webster, Pringle of Scotland and Vickisarge, using NearSt technology, which allows retailers to showcase live in-store inventory to drive footfall.

The technology aims to power local sales with online tech by directing shoppers searching in Google for brands stocked in the stores and general product searches using Local Inventory Ads, which informs the shopper that a product they’re interested in is in-stock nearby.

Grosvenor describes the pilot as a “resounding success” as 36 percent of shoppers visiting the targeted streets did so after seeing one of the Local Inventory Ads in Google, and this boost in footfall also increased monthly in-store sales by an estimated 165,000 pounds from 815 shoppers.

The study shows that “if people know what’s in-store they’ll buy in-store,” notes Grosvenor, as using Google Local Inventory Ads contributed over one-third of all shopper visits to the area, and the participating shops’ products were seen by more than 1.1 million times by local shoppers in Google during the three-week campaign.

In addition, it adds that more than 6,200 of those shoppers engaged further with products online via clicking, calling a shop, or getting directions.

Grosvenor calls pilot with NearSt a “resounding success” for driving footfall and sales for retailers

Retailers also captured customers from a broader local area, while between 80-90 percent of all engagement was from shoppers 1-5 miles from the target stores, the activity also drew shoppers into Mayfair and Belgravia from a greater range, particularly south of the river in Battersea, Lambeth, Clapham and London Bridge, when comparing footfall origin data with the same period in 2019.

The engagement was also very successful for fashion and beauty retailers. Fashion represented 40 percent of all engagement, with jewellery, watches, and shirts standing out, while health and beauty captured 44 percent of all engagement, with a focus on cosmetics and nutrition.

Commenting on the findings, Nick Brackenbury, co-founder and chief executive at NearSt, said in a statement: “We already knew that shoppers were going online to find products in their local stores, but we didn’t realise just how impactful an entire street working together could be. All the shops in Mayfair and Belgravia share a relatively common audience but stock quite different products, so we saw shoppers initially being attracted to the area by one store but then going on to visit many others.

“We were also pleased to see generic online shopping search terms, like ‘velvet dress’, ‘earrings’ and ‘necklace’ all driving footfall into the area. These are shopping journeys that started with online purchase intention leading to offline physical store visits and sales, which is what the high street needs.”

Ian Mair, managing director, digital innovation at Grosvenor, added: “Partnering with our tenants has been an important theme for Grosvenor during the pandemic and beyond. Helping the retail businesses to thrive is as important for the vibrancy of our places as it is for the businesses themselves.

“We expected to be able to drive footfall, increase sales, support our retail tenants and generate insight into how to serve our customers better. All of these expectations were met in the trial and give us encouragement to roll NearSt out further in our portfolio.

“In our view, a physical place will still be an important enabler of outstanding retail experience and the blending of physical and digital will ensure that we meet the needs of customers, create surprise and delight in our places, and ensure ongoing vibrancy at the heart of the communities we serve.”