Radio Drives Store Traffic

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Consumers today continue to shop and buy at brick and mortar locations, despite the surge of online shopping. In fact, according to a survey released by GroundTruth, a global location tech company, 38% of consumers believe they spend more money in-store.  What influences that spend?  The experience.

According to an article published in Forbes earlier this year, what will be critical for the retail industry is “the customer experience.” The same rings true for automotive.  An Autotrader study found that 54% of consumers would buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experiences, regardless of cost. When it comes to the QSR (quick service restaurant) industry, the experience is key.  The interaction customers have with the employees is just as important as the food that is being served.

While the broad range in product price points that may exist – from QSR, to beauty salons to automotive, the challenge for each of these locations is the same:  How to not only keep, but increase that traffic?  The answer is simple – use radio.

We know that radio as an advertising medium influences behavior.  It can increase search activity.  And as the medium closest to the moment of purchase, radio can have an incredible influence on driving consideration.  And we now know that radio drives store traffic – a 22% lift in traffic, on average.

Based upon a broad range of retail brands across four major ad categories – automotive, beauty retailers, home improvement and QSR – store traffic information was matched to radio station listeners and over 1.5 million radio ads.  The average visits were calculated by tracking the responses of those exposed to radio ads versus those not exposed.

While the average lift was 22% across all categories, there were differences by vertical:

  • Automotive up 32%
  • QSR up 23%
  • Home Improvement up 7%
  • Beauty Retailer up 32%

It’s important to keep in mind that shopping or visit habits vary – consumers go into quick serve restaurants more frequently than they do auto dealerships.  These lifts by category should not be compared to each other.

Additional findings showed that, across all categories, on average:

  • Listeners exposed to ads on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays were more likely to visit
  • Exposure during weekends and evening drive drove higher traffic

The study, released by the Radio Advertising Bureau, was done in partnership with TagStation’s Dial Report team.  If you’d like to know more, click here.


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