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01/10/2020 - Views

The OOH and Retail Potential for Q4

As we say goodbye to summer, we’re now turning our sights to Q4 and how we can pull 2020 back into shape.

With retail events such as Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday leading up to Christmas, this is a crucial time for brands, businesses and consumers. Of course, the way we celebrate the festive season this year might be a bit different; but if we've learned anything this year, it's that brands should simply not go quiet; but accept the challenge of changing messaging to be reflective of this new narrative.

A positive and sustained return

One of the consequences of lockdown was a move to shopping online more. However, since the easing of restrictions there has been a positive return to mall and high street shopping. Latest data from Springboard reveals a continued rise in retail footfall – the "rule of six" appearing not to dent the confidence of consumers to visit retail destinations. Last Saturday (September 26th) was Westfield London's busiest day since reopening in June, reflecting the excitement of consumers to be physically shopping again. Despite social distancing restrictions, Westfield continues to have a buzz and feels busy with an average weekly footfall in September of around 1 million.

Crucially, the latest research from Clear Channel found that only 7% of consumers expect to make all their Christmas purchases online, with an overwhelming majority of 86% planning to shop both online and instore for gifts. The research also found that 65% will plan what stores they visit ahead of time. For advertisers, this means that shoppers still desire to search for and purchase gifts instore but will be more considered in how they do this.

The rising importance of Trust 

Further insights from Clear Channel showed that 44% of consumers will be looking to buy across a range of different brands this year and 79% of these decisions will be influenced by brand trust. It’s been an unprecedented year for many reasons, so trust and reassurance will continue to play a key role in the coming weeks and months. 

OOH is a channel that people trust, with +17% more likely to feel confident in a brand using OOH and +14% more likely to trust that brand. Our Talon Benchmarks data also demonstrates this with an average uplift of +26% in trust when OOH is part of the media mix, measured for key brand campaigns using OOH. Most notably, throughout lockdown, OOH also recorded the largest media channel increase in consumer trust of +14% to 57%.

How Brands Can Use OOH for Success 

Through our audience mobility measurement platform Ada, we’re able to see that audiences are still active and mobile, and that mobility continues to show characteristics close to normal as we go into a busy Q4 period for brands. September has already seen mobility across the whole of the UK reach +22% above pre-lockdown levels, continuing to rise post-summer holidays and with the schools returning. Movement throughout the UK, including those with elevated restrictions, have continued to rise week on week. 

It’s also important to remember that feel-good activities such as visiting pubs and restaurants (which haven’t fully closed and are still operating) continue to attract footfall. Now is the time to prime these audiences who are out and about, using OOH to influence their purchasing decisions now or later online with the best brand awareness campaigns.

Broadcast and brand awareness still remains a top priority. OOH has never been more prepared to deliver broadcast audiences, amplify social stories and above all, prove the worth of communication spend through actionable evidence. Brands can capitalise on OOH’s flexible and high-quality digital inventory which delivers the reach, location and context to talk to audiences. We have a number of packs and flexible opportunities to reach audiences in the moment, in proximity to the retail decision, and to target audiences flexibly and to even dominate environments around Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day. 

Brands of all kinds who step with their best foot forward for the rest of 2020, will undoubtedly reap the benefits this quarter and in years to come.