The benefits of leveraging convenience store OOH screens

OOH screens can reach price-savvy holiday shoppers when they are in the spending mindset.
Holiday Shopping Stock Image
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With the holidays fast approaching, Canadians are becoming more selective and strategic with their holiday shopping. Ongoing economic uncertainty and rising prices have left consumers mindful of costs, and according to Deloitte’s 2023 Holiday Retail Outlook, 71% will be focused on shopping for sales.

With Canadians planning to spend less this year, it is more important than ever to reach consumers during key moments of their shopping journey – such as at the gas station when they’re fueling up for errands, outside of a popular shopping mall, and even at the point-of-purchase in checkout aisles. In-store shopping has begun to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels too, with 55% of Canadians looking to spend their holiday budget in-store to interact with products and avoid unnecessary shipping costs.

It then comes as no surprise that convenient location was the third most important factor when selecting a retailer for holiday shopping. Convenience stores’ convenient locations across Canada are prime real estate for advertisers to promote their holiday-related messaging and pose a significant opportunity for marketers, specifically those with digital out-of-home (DOOH) screens. Of course, putting a spotlight on deals, discounts, and bundles is essential, but given the financial constraints this season, how and where these offerings are communicated to consumers can make promotions more effective and competitive.

With all this in mind, here are a few reasons why brand marketers should tap into convenience stores with place-based DOOH screens and how to effectively reach price-savvy shoppers when they are in the spending mindset. 

Leverage place-based strategies to maximize on impulse purchases

Many brands struggle to gain meaningful connections with consumers through social and online marketing alone. Some studies have found that 75% of social media users think there are too many ads on those platforms. For marketers, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year to integrate a diverse mix of channels into their marketing strategy to reach consumers beyond their personal devices. A benefit of integrating DOOH into their holiday strategy is the ability to leverage place-based media, or DOOH screens located in contextually relevant environments such as office buildings, malls, gas stations, and convenience stores. As consumers become less receptive to online ads, especially during the cluttered holiday advertising landscape, out-of-home (OOH), place-based advertisements can reach consumers in those rare moments when they are present in their current environment – such as if they need a last-minute hosting gift for the holiday party they’re headed to.   

In addition to the brick-and-mortar location of convenience stores, many also have point-of-purchase screens near existing checkouts, entrances, and exits brands can tap into. A study found that “more than 1 in 3 consumers report that they are influenced to purchase at checkout than anywhere else in the store.” Many consumers enter convenience stores primed to shop as it is conveniently located, with point-of-purchase screens available for brands to give that extra push when customers are susceptible and open to quickly adding additional items before they reach the checkout counter.

Tap into dynamic creative for personalized messaging

Of course, along with the technology supporting targeting efforts, dynamic creative is key to driving customer traffic into stores and creating a sense of urgency for consumers on the move. Dynamic creative – a programmatic advertising method that updates messaging with personalized elements using available data – is a big part of why place-based advertisements are so successful. Imagery can be custom to a specific store location, making messaging highly specific to what the customer wants and can purchase in the moment.

This approach also allows marketers to be data-driven and make informed decisions when executing holiday campaigns. They can easily tap into insights regarding the store’s location, product/shopping habits, and key moments during the day to make sure messaging is continuously relevant to consumers, but with less manual work. Dynamic creative can be customized based on different data sets, from the weather (think displaying the current high in Toronto in January and directing consumers to the nearest convenience store with cold medicine or hand warmers) to countdowns for product launches or major holiday events—providing endless options to give new and existing customers relevant details needed to make informed purchases.

As consumers spend less this holiday season, these custom additions are effective tools marketers can use to address a shopper’s need in that exact moment, converting passersby into new and returning customers. 

Take advantage of the ability to pivot

It's no surprise that this holiday season is heavily shadowed by economic uncertainty, and with ongoing shifts in consumer sentiment, brands need to be prepared to pivot when needed – quickly. Fortunately, DOOH technology, for instance, offers marketers the flexibility to pause or change content as soon as it’s needed.

Stakes are high when price is the priority as heavy discounts can lower profitability and increase the risk of leftover inventory. DOOH enables marketers to pivot and refine their promotional strategy to mitigate potential impacts on profit margins. Marketers are now given tools to capitalize on both external and internal factors that may impact their holiday campaigns and as a result, maximize ROI.

Overall, digital out-of-home media is everywhere and for many marketers, it presents a great opportunity to reach consumers while they are on the go and most susceptible to holiday promotions. Convenience stores undoubtedly play a huge role in quick or last-minute holiday purchases that brand marketers should not miss out on this season!

Scott Mitchell Head Shot 2023

Scott Mitchell is Managing Director for Canada at Vistar Media, the leading global provider of programmatic and software solutions for digital out-of-home. Since joining Vistar in 2017, Scott has launched the Canadian office and grown operations to a fully staffed team with strategic partnerships across the entire programmatic landscape. Prior to joining Vistar, Scott held positions at TubeMogul (now Adobe) opening Canadian operations and working with agencies, as well as in the Enterprise (SaaS) business working with brands directly. Scott also worked at Yahoo! Canada leading the CPG vertical.

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