This year, nearly half of holiday shoppers said they would shop online exclusively, if they could. On the other hand, results from the same study showed that 61 percent of shoppers would rather shop with brands that have a physical location than ones that are online only.

While these may seem like competing interests, it’s indicative of an overall shift in the customer journey. Mobile has made it easier, more than ever for consumers to discover new products and brands online, comparison shop and validate their choices with reviews. When it comes to a consumer completing a purchase, many still prefer to shop where a connection can be made, a local storefront.

Complex mixed market models help us understand which individual online source provides better visibility, but our line of sight into the consumer journey falls short when consumers leave their online searches behind and go into a store and transact. Online to offline attribution is critically important for all forms of local businesses including SMBs, franchisees, or multi-location brands.