Right now, e-commerce is booming, with many e-retailers reporting their highest levels of growth since the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the UK Office for Budget Responsibility ecommerce grew by 83% in the first two weeks of April alone.
Amid the nationwide lockdown, shoppers had no other choice but to shop online, with thousands of brick and mortar stores forced to close. For some stores, without an online presence, their fate went one of two ways – either they folded, or they adapted.
For many retailers, the coronavirus accelerated their efforts to establish an online presence, and in turn, increased the momentum of the e-commerce boom. The continued rise of e-commerce has given customers access to their favourite brands at their fingertips 24 hours a day, seven days a week through smartphones, tablets and laptops.
As such, digital now has a massive influence on consumer buying journeys. How powerful is digital? According to Big Commerce, 75% of people now shop online at least once a month!
Where do billboards fit into the equation?
Although your business has an online presence, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get found. There’s a lot of ‘noise’ online and no doubt, there are several rival brands competing for consumer share.
However, because of the influence that digital has on consumer journeys, there is an incredible opportunity to combine online campaigns with Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising. Billboards in particular can help direct consumers to your website, increasing leads and driving sales.
With the rise of m-commerce (buying through smartphones and tablets) in particular, the dynamic outdoor advertising landscape is an excellent way to tap into audiences that are on-the-go and much more likely to be in a shopping mindset.
According to a study by Retail Gazette, train terminals in particular have become big shopping destinations… locations that lend themselves well to billboard advertising. However, billboards are an effective advertising medium in any location.
What makes billboards so effective?
The online space is cluttered and there are concerns over privacy issues, with personal data exploited to target consumers with specific adverts. If you’ve been on Facebook recently and you search for something, you might have noticed a whole series of adverts have popped up relative to your search… it’s quite invasive right?
However, outdoor advertising naturally integrates itself into our everyday surroundings and is the preferred method of advertising among millennials and Gen Z, according to Moving Walls.
According to Nielsen, “one out of every four Gen Z or millennial consumers will post an image of an outdoor ad to Instagram.” Consumers are also 48 percent more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the same ad on an out-of-home advertisement first.
The above statistics alone demonstrate just how powerful outdoor advertising can be in driving traffic to your website.
Combining outdoor advertising and digital
Combing outdoor advertising and digital allows you to maximise the benefits of each channel. Taking Nielsen’s study into consideration, there is a clear synergy between outdoor and online advertising. Deploying both channels means that you can maximise the advantages of short-term, big brand impact while capitalising on a long-term, online presence.
Outdoor advertising can be used to capture initial audience attention with a clear, digestible message that directs them online, where you can expand on the message featured in your outdoor campaign.
People won’t stop at your billboard to put your telephone number in their phone, but if your ad was effective enough, they’re much more likely to search for you on Google. Digital billboards in particular are great for improving audience recall, compared to static billboards.
According to Promotion Tech, 83% of consumers will recall at least one ad they’ve seen on a digital billboard in a 30-day period, while 65% will recall two and 47% will recall three. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 people are likely to talk about an ad with someone else when viewed on a digital billboard.
Ultimately, outdoor advertising serves as an introduction to your brand, while your digital presence deepens your connection with consumers.
Furthermore, digital offers a great way to track the success of your outdoor advertising campaigns. OOH on its own is hard to quantify, but when combined with digital you can monitor the success of your billboards.
For example, your outdoor ad could include a promotional code that offers an exclusive discount to consumers who respond to the ad. When that code is used at point-of-purchase online it’ll give an indication of how many sales were made as a result of engagement with your out-of-home advert.
Alternatively, you could create a unique landing page to display on your outdoor poster. The number of online visitors that arrive at this URL will provide an indication of how successful that advert has been.
Similarly, incorporating a unique, memorable hashtag on your outdoor ad allows you to track the success of, and further develop, an OOH campaign on social media.
OOH and digital advancing
As OOH and digital technology and software continues to develop year on year, the opportunities to combine the two channels are increasing. There has been a rise in the use of digital tools as part of outdoor advertising campaigns, which are encouraging consumers to connect with brands digitally.
Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, brands have been creative in making outdoor advertising work for them and encouraging the few people that were viewing their OOH adverts, to connect with them online.
As the synergy between OOH and digital grows stronger, the creative opportunities that arise are becoming more and more exciting.
Out of Home advertising and e-commerce: the perfect match
Bubble Outdoor can help you successfully integrate your e-commerce business marketing strategy with ongoing outdoor advertising campaigns. Outdoor advertising is a great way to build your brand reputation offline to direct people online, using advertising space that’s dedicated solely to your message.
Outdoor advertising helps to distinguish your business from the clutter online and make your brand more accessible on the web, allowing you to reach mass audiences quickly, expand your message and increase engagement.
Use outdoor advertising to attract and digital to track… it’s the perfect match.
Find and buy outdoor advertising space where you target audience are using Bubble’s online platform. With over 80,000 advertising spaces listed across the UK, and the ability to purchase with your credit card or bank transfer, you could have your online store out in the real world in minutes.