Geolocation and Other Christmas Shopping Trends in the UK - eMarketer
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Geolocation and Other Christmas Shopping Trends in the UK

November 16, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce | Mobile


David Jowett
President of Europe
DAC Group

David Jowett is president of Europe at DAC, a geolocation marketing services firm. eMarketer’s Sean Creamer spoke to Jowett about how brands in the UK are leveraging geolocation and buy online, pickup in-store services—known locally as “click and collect”—generally and during the Christmas holiday season.

eMarketer: What role does location-based targeting play for brands in the UK during the Christmas holiday season?

David Jowett: We started as a Yellow Pages directories business, so we were in print. And as directories went online, we followed our customers and we followed the technology and became a digital business. We have never lost the fact that where you are matters as much as who you are.

With that in mind, you would think that geolocation would potentially only be for traditional physical retail businesses. Even if you are a physical retail business, the work that goes into connecting with a customer online before they end up in your store is critical.

“Even if you are an ecommerce-only business, where you are still matters, because if you are looking for a pair of black shoes, you will probably ... search on Google for a pair of black shoes in your location.”

Even if you are an ecommerce-only business, where you are still matters, because if you are looking for a pair of black shoes, you will probably and increasingly search on Google for a pair of black shoes in your location. Many consumers would still like to go and try them on in a store. So their kind of click-and collect mentality is starting to really catch on as bigger part of that customer transaction process.

eMarketer: Has click and collect become increasingly popular around Christmastime and the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events?

Jowett: One of the brands that does this well is a business called Next, which is a 40-year-old retailer. Three or four years ago around 20% of their ecommerce business was click and collect. And three years later 70%-plus is click and collect. So that shift in business model is a serious challenge for brands. It’s amazing as a customer because they’re getting the best of both worlds.

eMarketer: Has the introduction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday disrupted traditional shopping trends in the UK?

Jowett: In the UK, it’s in the middle of happening. In the US, you’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday being a big deal for longer.

“In the UK, Black Friday and Cyber Monday really only started to take hold in the last two years.”

In the UK, Black Friday and Cyber Monday really only started to take hold in the last two years. What was happening was retailers were putting their deals forward, just not around Black Friday or Cyber Monday—they were putting deals forward to start the shopping pattern earlier than that kind of last-minute deal making. It is now most definitely a thing in any retailer’s life and in any customer’s shopping patterns pre-Christmas

eMarketer: What marketing message do brands use in lieu of Thanksgiving?

Jowett: There is no cultural reason to have Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It is a retail pattern that in the US is a natural evolution of, ‘Right, Thanksgiving is out of the way; let’s think about Christmas.’ The message [in the UK] is, ‘Here’s a deal.’

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were supposed to stimulate sales, and there’s very little advertising other than sales-focused advertising. Of course there will be other underlying advertising that’s in-market for the whole of the pre-Christmas period, which isn’t all sales-focused. But the messaging specifically around those events is very sales-focused.

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