Are You Getting the Most from Big Data in the Christmas Build-up?

  • Thursday, December 18th, 2014
  • Author: Tim Maytom
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Old_Bond_Street_1_dbAs mobile becomes more and more central to consumers retail habits and location and proximity technologies give us a clearer picture of how people engage with digital and physical stores, its important that marketers hoping to take advantage of the last week of Christmas shopping target their ads correctly. After all, the right message at the right time can lead to a dedicated customer, while a clumsily deployed campaign can alienate as many consumers as it converts.

Data from ad tech company BlisMedia has shown how granular data can now be, providing crucial insight into the shopping behaviour of London consumers in the run-up to Christmas. According to its research, which was derived from the companys analysis of 1m data points, there has been a 259 per cent increase in shopper traffic from November to December, as people prepare for the festive season.

The data, which identifies footfall and online behaviour, and was leveraged against IP addresses and 3G/4G signals to create geo-fenced areas across five of Londons most popular shopping areas, reveals that the three days of 10 to 12 December were the busiest shopping day, accounting for over a fifth of total shopping traffic across four full weeks.

Bond Street proved to be the hot spot for shopping activity, with a 433 per cent increase in shopper footfall as consumers headed to the global retailers located in the area. Historic Brent Cross, which only saw 1.4 per cent of overall traffic, still recorded a 189 per cent increase between November and December, while Covent Garden saw uplift of 176 per cent.

High Street UK Chester Shops (1024x682)“Christmas is an important time of the year for UK retailers, brands and marketers, and strong brand outreach during this period can help businesses reap massive rewards,” said Greg Isbister, founder and CEO of BlisMedia. “A knowledge of the most popular shopping hotspots and timeslots is the first portion of the equation. When marketers couple this intelligence with location insight and behavioural data, they can time relevant brand campaigns to reach target audiences at the best times and places.”

The data captured by BlisMedia also revealed that while shopping, many consumers were still accessing websites and apps, maintaining a digital connection even in the Christmas crowds. Arts & entertainment content was the most popular sector, with 25 per cent of consumers accessing apps and websites in this category, followed by hobbies & interest (19 per cent) and video & computer games (15 per cent).

A separate study by marketing company Shopitize found that brand loyalty is an increasingly unreliable factor, with 55 per cent of shoppers splitting their grocery shopping between at least two stores, and 29 per cent shopping with at least three different retailers.

Even loyalty schemes, once the heart of grocery and supermarket retailers marketing strategies, are becoming ineffective, with only 40 per cent of shopping carried out using loyalty cards. Like BlisMedia, Shopitize used mobile data to construct its picture of contemporary consumer trends, analysing over 100,000 users with data that spanned three months.

The rich picture this sort of big data can provide shows how important location targeting has become. With shoppers constantly engaged by smartphones and more willing than ever to hunt around for bargains, a well-targeted campaign that takes advantage of consumers shopping habits can be used to drive footfall and brand engagement, especially during the festive period.