PPC reels in smart shoppers

The internet – it’ll be the death of the high street. Anyone who works in digital marketing has lost count of the amount of heated debates they have engaged in which have begun with a sweeping statement such as this.

The internet - it'll be the death of the high street. Anyone who works in digital marketing has lost count of the amount of heated debates they have engaged in which have begun with a sweeping statement such as this.

And with a roll of the eyes and an exhale of exasperation, we have all set about putting across the same point - it doesn't have to be.

In 2013 we live in a world where making phone calls from a computer and browsing the internet on a phone are commonplace - nothing has to exist in a bubble anymore.

And speaking of browsing the internet on mobile phones, Google has just released a fantastic bit of research about the impact of showrooming on in-store sales which should forever dispel the myth that the web is the Grim Reaper for brick and mortar retail.

In case you're late to the party, if you've ever used your mobile phone while out shopping to compare prices or product specifications, you're a showroomer.

What Google's research shows is that 79% of smartphone owners use their phone to perform in-store research. Combine that with the fact that the number of smartphones worldwide was estimated to have passed 1 billion towards the end of 2012 and you'll start to get an idea of just how important that fact is.

Of even more importance is the fact that, far from driving shoppers away, showrooming actually leads to them spending 25 to 50% more in-store.

Crucially, a whopping 82% of in-store browsers head straight for a search engine to begin their research. So I ask you, has there ever been a better case for a mobile PPC advertising campaign?

Due to the shape and size of a smartphone screen, listings at the top of the SERPs get an even higher proportion of clicks on mobile, so PPC can play a crucial role in placing your business in the right place at the right time.

If the customer is shopping in your store, it may be all the reassurance that they need that they are getting the best deal. If they're shopping next door in your competitor's store, you might just deservedly snatch a sale.

So, the internet - the death of the high street? More like saviour, if retailers open up and embrace it.