Why Build an O2O Strategy? Online to Offline Part 2

O2O Strategy - Main image
From the Happy Bunch collection by Pablo Stanley

In part 1 we clarified what an O2O strategy is, why it’s necessary and covered a few technical actions that you can think about that will help your B2B or B2C retail business.

In this instalment we’ll be covering more specific actions that you can take to help create an O2O strategy for your organization. Including a few things that are not often considered when talking about O2O…

Let’s begin!

O2O Strategy - Align your online and in-store teams image
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Align your teams

With digital transformation on everyone’s minds at the moment, it’s easy to focus more on your online offering.

But staff at your physical location may have been interacting with your customers for years. They have a vast amount of experience and they know what your customers need.

So it makes sense to align this vital resource with your online efforts.

Use your retail staff to help build your O2O strategy. Consult with them and learn more about your customers and always remember that you’re selling to people. Data can tell you a lot about your customer’s online behavior but your retail staff will know your customers. They might even have a relationship with regular customers.

Marrying these personal insights from your retail team with online data can help you to create experiences that your customers will value.

eCommerce teams and in-store staff tend to work in separate silos. Interaction between the two units is rare. But when you’re creating an O2O strategy it’s an ideal time to break down these silos. You might even want to consider aligning your in-store sales and online marketing KPIs, so everyone is working towards the same goal.

Actions you can take

  • Break down barriers between in-store staff and your marketing department
  • Align sales KPIs across your business to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal
  • Gain more personal insights into your customers from your retail staff

O2O Strategy - Attribution model image
Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash


Anyone who works in online marketing knows that proper attribution is critical. Most online marketing works on a “last-touch” attribution model. That simply means that the last touchpoint a customer or lead makes with a brand is credited with the conversion. 

But in an O2O world, how can that attribution model function?

In short, it cannot. 

Brands should try to move to a “multi-touch” attribution model to successfully measure their O2O customer journeys.

Multi-touch attribution measures the value of each touchpoint that leads to a conversion. When talking about online, this means that a customer may see several ads on different channels, then visit a review site then go to the brand website to make a purchase. Multi-touch attribution (specifically the linear method) weighs each of those touchpoints equally.  

This is where things can get a little…complicated. Especially when you are trying to implement an O2O strategy.

Multi-touch Attribution Models

There are different multi-touch attribution models that are currently in use, most of which are not 100% suitable for an O2O strategy. They are:

  • Linear multi-touch attribution – This gives all touchpoints equal credit for the conversion
  • Time-decay multi-touch attribution – This gives most of the credit for the conversion to touchpoints closer to the final conversion event
  • U-shaped multi-touch attribution – Gives credit for the conversion to the first and last touchpoints
  • W-shaped multi-touch attribution – Gives credit for the conversion to the first, middle and last touchpoints

Which one should my business use?

This is the tricky part. 

Each attribution model offers something valuable in an O2O strategy. But none of them are really, truly, effective. For example, click and collect is a fairly simple attribution. The conversion happens on the website or app and then the customer picks up what they’ve ordered from your store. So the credit for the conversion should go to the website or app right? 

Yes that’s true, but what if your in-store team successfully makes an upsell? Does that count as a separate conversion? Even though it’s part of the same customer journey? This is where some issues around attribution can creep in. And it’s why custom attribution models are popular.

A lot of O2O strategies use a custom multi-touch attribution model that’s built specifically for the needs of the business. This can take a long time, with a lot of experimentation. But you will finally reach a model that is perfect for your business. 

One of the aims of moving to multi-touch attribution is to be more agile in your marketing and customer experience optimisation (both on and offline) efforts. Building a custom model will allow you to adapt quicker and better serve your customers.

Actions you can take

  • Consider existing multi-touch attribution models. Do any of those fit into your O2O strategy?
  • Look at your data to weigh how effective your existing online channels are
  • Consult your retail team. They are an invaluable resource and can help you build an attribution model that’s perfect for your business

Come back for part 3 where we will be talking about tracking, identity graphs and personalization.

Contact us via hello@maqe.com.

How MAQE can help

MAQE can help you to build a custom attribution model for your O2O strategy. We conduct extensive on and offline research to help you find out what’s effective for your business. And we do this by putting people first; breaking down silos so everyone works towards the same goal. Get in touch via [email protected] if you need some advice.