Staff Reporters
Oct 15, 2018

How Vinmart proved location targeting can boost store visits

CASE STUDY: The convenience store and its agency partners carried out a controlled experiment across 400 stores in Ho Chi Minh City.

Source: Vinmart
Source: Vinmart

Background and objective

Vincommerce, Vietnam’s biggest private-sector retail company, wanted to target frequent shoppers that live close to its Vinmart+ convenience stores with special offers. In addition, the brand wanted to understand how online activities impact offline sales. 

The company's digital marketing team drove the effort, along with digital agency GWA, Moblaze and InMobi.


The team first mapped out nearly 400 VinMart+ stores across Ho Chi Minh City and built radial geo-fences around them.

This was then overlaid with behavioural data that identified frequent shoppers. All frequent shoppers within 0.5 miles of a geo-fence were served special-offer ads within apps on their smartphones. Upon clicking the ads, users could find out more and get directions to the VinMart+ stores near them.

Example ads from the campaign.

To demonstrate that the campaign actually worked, the agency needed to go beyond reporting impressions and clicks and determine how the campaign truly impacted footfall. For this it undertook a footfall attribution study.

The team created two groups of users: the exposed group (those who saw the ads) and a control group (those who did not). The profiles of both groups were made comparable, so that they were similar except for their exposure to the ads.

By monitoring the device IDs of the smartphones carried by people entering the brand's stores, the brand and its partners were able to count the number of store visits by exposed users versus the control goup. 


The data showed the campaign successfully drove consumers to stores, generating a visit uplift of 19%, after adjusting for organic traffic. In other words the campaign was 1.19 times more effective at driving people to the store than the brand's current marketing mix.

There was a strong correlation between ad exposure and store visits: 35% of users who visited the store visited within the first three days of exposure. The analysis also allowed the agency to understand which sub-segments most engaged with the ads, a data point that will help to optimise in the future.

Click to enlarge

The case proves, according to the brand and its agencies, that while mobile in-app advertising is often considered for reach and awareness campaigns, it can also be considered for bottom-funnel conversions. In-app advertising is unique in its ability to overlay users' location data (current or past) with demographic, persona and behavioural data to help marketers undertake precision targeting, which leads to greater ROI.

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