Posterscope recently highlighted how brands could seize the current retail opportunity, as more people return to our streets, and with car show rooms and essential and non-essential retail opening in June. Coupled with the huge discounts being offered to advertisers on OOH, plus flexible buying and campaign movement terms, this makes the medium a safe and effective channel in these extraordinary times.
Since the re-opening of retail last week, we have all seen anecdotal stories about people queuing, sometimes for hours, outside stores such as Primark and the Nike Store in London for example. At Posterscope, we wanted to understand if the return of people to the streets was enough of a shift to be valuable to advertisers, and of equal importance, whether people were actively looking to purchase as well as being in the right mindset to be communicated with.
The answer is a strong yes on all counts. Audiences are continuing to grow, and shoppers are in a positive mindset, particularly as, according to a new study by LightSpeed Mintel, although they may have concerns, 79% % of people feel confident that they will be ok financially.
Some retail outlets saw people queuing from as early as 7am and those interviewed claimed their shopping experience was a positive one, with the great weather making queuing a more pleasurable experience. In store browsing was also a pleasure, as retailers limited the number of people in the shop at any one time. Upmarket retailer Harrods experienced queues snaking around the building, having installed a footfall tracking device to limit capacity within the store to 4500 to allow for safe social distancing. Within the store, the longest queues were at the Dior and Louis Vuitton concessions. On average, Footfall was up 30 per cent on last week in high streets, shopping centres and outlets across England, whilst some areas, according to sector analysts Springboard, enjoyed up to a 50 per cent increase.
But it is undoubtedly the automotive market that has stolen the show as the fastest growing category, not just in the UK but globally. While the used car market held strong during lockdown, research from Indicata reveals it has bounced back so far in June. Sales of used cars were up 3.4 per cent in the first 10 days of June compared with the same period in 2019. And between June 4 and 10, sales were up 13.3 per cent, equating to around 12,000 used cars per day, which is where the market was pre-Covid-19 lockdown. According to Indicata’s analysis Hybrid sales are up 22% YoY, SUVs up 11% YoY, while sports and luxury cars are the big winners with sales up to 39%. This supports our predictions that people are preparing to spend more time in their owned transport and are quite content with making roadside journeys. This trend looks set to continue too, according to Neil Gilligan, INDICATA UK’s business development manager: “It is surprising how quickly the used market has bounced back from the Covid-19 lockdown. With reduced output from car makers and fewer dealer part exchanges and ex-fleet cars coming into the market then demand should exceed supply throughout the rest of 2020 with prices continually strong,”.
Demand for new cars has also solidified during the month of June, with the classified advertising websites and new car portals all reporting demand is high. Auto Trader, Carwow and What Car? Are among those reporting strong demand from consumers.
Posterscope’s Mobility Index, based on data from Telecoms partner Three UK reports UK mobility for w/e 19th June, was 69.5. So just under 70% of normal mobility and still increasing.
Whilst Apple’s mobility report showed that roadside vehicular audience levels reached 81% of pre-Covid levels. For retail environments, the latest Springboard data revealed a phenomenal 42% uplift in people moving around versus the previous week, so with deals in market offering 40-50% value, OOH is once again offering an effective channel to brands.
London saw a 32% increase in people moving across the capital and 60% of people nationally now claim to be visiting friends and family (*Source: Apple mobility data). So with the good weather set to continue over the coming weeks, as well as more children returning to school, there is a huge and incentivised opportunity here for brands to be part of this positive milestone in returning to the new normal.
For media owners, OOH is back, and many advertisers are taking advantage of the moment, including, eBay, McCain’s, Vauxhall, HSBC, O2, Paddy Power, and many more.