A performance-based business model that actually adds value for apps

Shopping apps need to find more creative ways to monetize: current revenue models used by publishing apps are under increased pressure because of waste and fraud.

In the first half of 2019, the reported in-app fraud to app installs has tripled (The State of Mobile Fraud, 2019), brands are demanding ways to meaningfully measure engagement – and this is forcing publishers to reinvent their revenue strategy.

But what about the Cost per Visit (CPV) model, which sidesteps the issue with ad fraud? This model charges not based on online impressions but measures offline user behavior, such as physical store visits.

The reality is that the CPV metric alone doesn’t determine digital campaign effectiveness.

Instead, apps need to find a way to bridge online and offline activity, to accurately verify visits and ensure media spend on location-based campaigns isn’t wasted due to inaccurate targeting.

Not all visits are created equal

Cost per Incremental Visit (CPIV) takes CPV one step further, measuring footfall driven by online activities. This filters out customers who happen to visit organically, or via other channels.

These online activities could be ads, emails or push notifications. Either way, CPIV becomes a crucial metric for determining the digital impact on real-world visits and the variable value of a ‘visit’. The cost is then used to measure ROI.
You can benchmark the value of visits across industries – and even within industries such as retail. A fast-food consumer visiting a drive-through has a lower purchase value than a potential car buyer visiting a dealership, for example.

Let’s take a look at a use case for CPIV:

CPIV in action for retail


A national retail brand wants to maintain its share of foot traffic during the holiday season, specifically targeting a segment of brand loyalists.


The retailer launches a seasonal digital campaign, sending location-based push notifications to a high-value treatment group of app users, pointing to discounts found in their nearest store.


Post-campaign, the app can review through custom reporting which foot traffic was triggered by which channel or creative – filtering out any irrelevant footfall and charging per incremental visit. The app is able to demonstrate a significant return on investment to advertisers based on seasonal revenue generated vs. campaign expenditure.


The app can now use the seasonal campaign results to segment their audience in different ways, and enrich their targeting with insights such as…

  • Competitive Visitors: Those sent a push notification who also visited one of the brand’s top competitors over the campaign period
  • Brand Affinity Hotspots: Visitors who come from a region or neighborhood with a high affinity for a specific store location, or locations
  • High-Value Stores Regionally: Did one particular store drive over 100 visits? This gives the brand valuable guidance on resource distribution
  • Qualifying Brand Loyalists: A certain number of users visited a store location 2 or more times during the campaign, which could help qualify them for a loyalty scheme
  • Analyzing Brand Loyalist Behavior: Are your brand loyalists influenced by seasonal campaigns? Looking at Average Order Value versus Lifetime Value of shoppers helps you understand your retention cycle and identify opportunities for growth.
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