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11/10/2019 - Views

The online retail industry

Since its inception, online retail has changed immeasurably. Over the past decade alone there have been changes in device usage, channel and an expansion of the global marketplace. Online has grown steadily as a percentage of overall retail sales since 2000. During the last few years online spending has really taken off, coinciding with a slowdown in instore spending, underlining the change in consumer behaviour. 

Online retail can provide a quick route to market for many brands and retailers, allowing for tighter turnaround times for fast fashion and an avenue to test new styles with lower cost implications. The core demographic of 15-24s may be easily retargeted with online ads to drive spend, but there is a looming issue expressly championed by many in this demographic that could affect brand popularity and trust.

Fast fashion is a hot topic amongst younger shoppers and experiencing a push back, giving rise to a more ethical, ecologically conscious type of consumer. Seen as increasingly harmful to the environment through its creation of mass amounts of pollution and toxic waste, the 15-24s are the biggest advocate group for environmental concerns. As on the most influential group in the fast fashion space brands need to keep a cautious eye on this evolving trend. While many retailers are including sustainable fashion lines, their main income is from the cheaper, mass produced end of the scale. Getting the balance right of handling 15-24s desire for the latest fashions but in an ecologically conscious manner that doesn’t cost too much, is a difficult line to tread. It’s therefore crucial that brands build trust as a key pillar in their brand perception, who integrate with people’s everyday lives and core beliefs.

Out of Home offers online retailers and opportunity to infiltrate the real-world space, without the need for a brick and mortar store. By using OOH not only do they integrate with consumers everyday lives, but also promote trust and reliability showing that they are able to engage consumers offline as well as on.

Whilst many online retailers do not spend heavily on OOH, there are immense opportunities for a creative approach when it comes to the OOH landscape. For example, online retailer, Pretty Little Thing, aimed at 14-24s, captured consumers attention through pop-ups at festivals and bus-wraps across major cities in the UK featuring their memorable pink unicorn motif. Taking a creative approach such as this, puts the brands positively in the minds of consumers and helps to cement their authenticity as a reputable business.   

Online retailers may be pulling spend away from stores but there are more ways than just online to influence their target audiences. OOH provides a direct way to impact their most influential audience, driving online action and providing lasting memorable experiences through the use of creative experiential OOH. The same experiential OOH that can even be used to capture content to use for online advertising spend to retarget the same group! Overall, online retailers need to remember that targeting consumers through other touchpoints such as OOH offers a tangible and memorable way to drive action, improve brand recall and embed a brand in a consumers mind.