How Retailers Can Capitalize on Shoppers Spending More Time Outside
In a matter of months, COVID-19 has changed the way retailers think about and execute their businesses. Retailers are being challenged now to evaluate the experience they’re delivering to shoppers.
On top of that, the pandemic has caused a major shift in consumer behavior that stretches beyond the shopping experience alone. Everything from how people gather to how families spend a Saturday afternoon has changed.
In the current COVID-19 landscape, a lot more time is being spent outside, which is a massive marketing opportunity that retailers can capitalize on.
The Great Outdoors Presents a Great Opportunity
With shifting consumer behaviors, retailers must adjust their marketing strategies to ensure they're still getting in front of their audience at the right moment.
According to The New York Times, audiences are experiencing what experts are calling “quarantine fatigue.” When lockdown orders stretched past the one-month mark in April, people began to get tired of the same-old scenery in their homes. Instead, they decided to get up and explore the great outdoors through walks in the park, trips to stores, days at the beach, and more.
At the current moment, Ubimo’s data shows that movement has been increasing and continues to pick up momentum after months of shelter-in-place orders. In July, movement around out-of-home (OOH) properties increased by 10 percent every week on average — showing that people have really taken this outdoor trend and ran with it!
OOH advertising includes billboards, bus shelters, transit ads, advertising in malls, gyms, salons — you name it. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is a method of advertising that uses dynamic displays to reach people en route to stores and major points of interest.
Flexible Fixes for a Changing Landscape
Even with continuously changing stay-at-home ordinances, DOOH is a responsive and nimble solution for retailers in this unpredictable landscape. Programmatic DOOH provides the flexibility to make changes in messaging in response to changing circumstances. Whether a mere copy change or a larger campaign shift is required, DOOH allows marketers to act as fast as the environment requires.
For example, as more locations are opening up, specific display boards can be targeted and turned on instantly as foot traffic increases in those designated market areas (DMAs). Alternatively, if businesses have to adhere to new guidelines and close their doors temporarily, those displays can also be postponed or shifted in real time.
Additionally, DOOH affords retailers the opportunity to use granular data to target the right audience by indexing advertising space against shopping behaviors, affinities and consumer insights.
While people continue to limit movement in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, they're still leaving their homes. When they do, they're making very purposeful trips — primarily to grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, etc. DOOH, powered by real-time movement data, allows retailers to connect with shoppers while stocking up for their families is at the top of their minds. As venues such as malls, gyms, salons and bars/restaurants continue to open up, those environments become yet another opportunity to connect with core audiences by aligning with specific behaviors and affinities that score high.
While some continue to argue that people are cooped up in quarantine, the data shows that consumers may actually be tired of staying inside and have decided to venture outdoors in increasing numbers. The uptick in outdoor traffic presents a huge opportunity for retailers: DOOH advertising allows retailers to connect with this available audience while granting brands the confidence that their messaging will be relevant and can always be adjusted to fit this everchanging landscape.
Norm Chait is director of OOH Products, Ubimo, a Quotient company. Ubimo is a location intelligence technology company.