What is the drive-to-store?

What is the drive-to-store?

In-store sales are an important issue for retailers since the vast majority of purchases are always made in person. However, the rise of new technologies and mobility is forcing retailers to take an interest in these trends in order to generate in-store traffic. The drive-to-store is a marketing technique that allows you to take advantage of the web in order to boost the growth of its physical points of sale.

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So, what is the drive-to-store? How to implement such a strategy? Answer in this article.

Set up a drive-to-store strategy

The implementation of a drive-to-store strategy within a company requires taking into account a certain number of elements.

Why choose the drive-to-store?

Thanks to the drive-to-store, a store can expand its catchment area and increase its turnover. Indeed, 88% of people who do a local search on their phone go to a store within 24 hours (source: Google Local Search Statistics 2019).

By targeting its audience in a personalized way and by creating various points of contact, a company can offer services tailored to the real needs of its customers and improve the user experience. The drive-to-store is thus a great opportunity to increase its market share and expand its customer portfolio by attracting people who prefer to buy in-store. In a way, it is an accelerator for converting digital prospects into physical customers.

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In addition to the usual levers (radio, billboards, press, etc.), the drive-to-store enables effective digital marketing strategies to be adopted to acquire new customers. The goal is to win over prospects who are looking for a product online before going to the store.

How to do ?

With the drive-to-store, online and offline are no longer in competition: they are complementary. The consumer can then do their research online and then go to a store to try the product or seek advice.

For such a strategy to work, you have to be able to arouse the interest of prospects on the Internet, and then make the in-store experience attractive.

Ideally, the online reputation of a company embarking on a drive-to-store strategy should be strong. To display good positioning on search engines, a brand can, for example:

  • Develop a natural referencing strategy.
  • Create ads on Google.
  • Choose a geolocation application.

The store must be attractive so that there is consistency between online and offline. The company can, for example, offer innovative in-store experiences such as real-world tests or exclusive promotions.

To implement an effective drive-to-store strategy, you have to be there when the consumer needs it. For example, a person driving on the highway at noon may want to know the nearest restaurant or gas station. This is the perfect time to send them a push notification informing them of a reduction on the meal of the day.

Measure the impact of your drive-to-store strategy

Like any marketing action, the performance of a drive-to-store strategy must be analyzed using predefined KPIs. It can therefore be the number of visits to the point of sale or the minimum duration of presence in the store.

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The examination of the drive-to-store strategy makes it possible to measure the cost of the implemented campaign and to adapt the budget as well as the actions in the event of a problem.

4 drive-to-store techniques to test

Several drive-to-store techniques exist. It is then advisable to opt for the one which will be the most adapted to the nature of the company and its situation.

The click and collect

The click and collect optimizes the logistics of a business. The customer orders and pays online, then picks up his item in the store, avoiding delivery costs and waiting at the checkout.

Another advantage, thanks to click and collect, the company is able to generate traffic more quickly in order to retain customers afterwards.

A store locator can also be set up to inform the customer of the state of stocks in store concerning one or more products. This allows him to know in advance whether the item he needs is available or not.


The couponing is a drive-to-store technique that makes it possible to distribute offers and promotions on the Internet according to the location of the Internet user. The latter can benefit from it on the condition that he physically goes to the store.

Couponing encourages the customer to come to the point of sale. It is an effective method of building customer loyalty and increasing the number of visitors to the store.

The beacon

The technique of beacon consists of installing a box in the store in order to send notifications push via Bluetooth to customers when they are within a certain area.

To send promotions, however:

  • That customers have their Bluetooth turned on.
  • That they downloaded the company’s app.
  • That they are in the right geographical area.
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Thanks to geofencing, a company can send geolocated push notifications to its prospects when they are located in a specific perimeter. Using this technique, she can identify a user’s movement, study and analyze it in real time.

Notifications are usually sent through the brand’s app or text message to arouse consumer interest and encourage them to come to the store.

2 examples of successful drive-to-store operations

Several brands have embarked on the strategy of drive-to-store and are today an example to follow for other companies considering taking the same path.


Waze has made the drive-to-store one of the main services it offers to businesses. It uses geolocated advertising that it broadcasts to its users when they are near a sign to encourage them to go to the store.

Many companies have made use of the drive-to-store through Waze, such as PepsiCo France. Indeed, the brand used it in particular to indicate to motorists stuck on the road which service stations nearby offered Lipton Ice Tea.

Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire mainly uses the technique of e-reservation. The brand indeed offers its users to reserve an item to come and try it in store. It then creates a complete look around the part in question, the goal being not only to improve the customer experience, but also to potentially increase the average basket.

Zadig & Voltaire also practices emailing to present its collections or the opening of new stores through geolocated campaigns.

To go further, download this report on the digitization of SMEs to discover all the issues at work, the main challenges and examples of successful transformations.Bottom-CTA: Digitization, French SMEs at a crossroads

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