OOH as a driver for online sales

[12 February] Online shopping is booming. It was performing well in our old, pre-pandemic world but it’s reached a different level entirely now as people are effectively forced online as a result of lockdowns. The IMRG Capgemini online retail results for January show a 74% increase in year-on-year growth, the highest increase since the first lockdown period began last March.

Online retail sales for January are the highest since 2008, with growth across a number of sectors, with health and beauty and beer and wine enjoying notable growth, up 102% and 105% year on year respectively.

In recent weeks, talk of takeovers has been rife. Online only retailers ASOS and Boohoo have snapped up Topshop, while Boohoo now owns Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis. When the high-street reopens it will look wildly different, with these brands no longer operating stores.

Online sales have been a lifeline for many local businesses too, with many scrambling to create e-commerce platforms to continue trading. Restaurants and takeaways should also be considering their online presence, ensuring ordering and menu information is readily available in a competitive marketplace.

Out of Home has always been regarded as a strong driver for online traffic. At the end of January, we published our React research, looking at the likelihood that consumers will respond to OOH in various, comparing it to a time pre-covid and now. Almost half of those surveyed will go online to learn more about a product after seeing the OOH campaign, and 29% will make an online purchase as a result.

Additionally, research undertaken by Exterion Media in October 2020 ‘Thinking Outside the Bus’ evaluated the connection between OOH and online further, finding that 90% of visits to a unique URL displayed on bus formats came via mobile handsets. Ongoing monitoring through Google Analytics showed the website traffic increased by 71% in week two of the campaign cycle, showing the benefit of continued advertising.

The evidence is overwhelming. Out of Home isn’t just effective for bricks and mortar retailers, it’s a lifeline for those trying to compete in the biggest marketplace of all – the internet. Where your nearest competitor is just a click away, standing out from the crowd on OOH could make all the difference.