Retail 2021 – sponsored by The Radio Bureau

The story of a perfect marriage between creativity, customer data and media technology, often talked about but very rarely achieved in practice.

In high demand

The challenge

The first Covid lockdown brought the benefits of shopping online into sharp focus for many Kiwis, with a huge spike in demand overnight.

Countdown saw unprecedented growth in the number of online shoppers and the frequency of their online shops during early 2020.

So, while from a consumer perspective, lockdown was far from ideal, it did represent a silver lining commercially that Countdown very much wanted to make permanent. 

The challenge, however, was to make huge increases to its online shopping capacity. And as demand naturally dropped off, Countdown was under huge pressure to keep demand high. 

The response

Countdown developed a hard-working, highly contextual and targeted campaign that talked about the many facets and benefits of online shopping that were highly relevant, all under a flexible creative template: ‘What’s Your Way.’

For Large Digital billboards, Countdown developed:

A live ‘countdown’ timer, displaying the remaining time consumers had to place their online order for same-day delivery.

A billboard next to Victoria Park New World describing Countdown’s Online Shopping as “… a whole new world”.

CBD sites in Auckland spoke to office workers: “Pick up makes the working week much easier, and it’s free”.

In family areas, messaging spoke to parents: “Order in the morning and pick up on the school run”.

Countdown also reminded consumers heading away for summer that online shopping was available to enhance their holiday. This included billboards in holiday hotspots, airport billboards, radio and Spotify ads and mobile geo-fences near holiday locations. 

Countdown also made operational changes to increase their online shopping capacity by 20,000 slots in delivery and 55,000 in pick-up.

Research had found that consumers thought online shopping couldn’t be spontaneous and must be planned far in advance. However, with Same Day Delivery as a core service, this was clearly not the case with Countdown.

The result 

Through this marketing strategy, Countdown managed to bring back the level of demand it needed to fill the Covid capacity it had built, attracted new online shoppers to help maintain demand levels and encouraged customers who had only shopped with Countdown once or twice to shop again.  

Category: Retail

Company: Woolworths New Zealand

Marketing Initiative: Getting Personal with Online Shopping

Marketing Partners: M&C Saatchi New Zealand, dentsu, Wellcom

Judges’ Comments: “Good overall strategy to deliver against the business requirements. Sophisticated use of data, personalisation and digital channels. Clever use of geo targeting. Great understanding of consumer behaviour and what it takes to influence long-term change. Really solid and consistent results.”

Finalists: The Warehouse Group, Woolworths New Zealand, McDonald’s New Zealand, Foodstuffs New Zealand, Mitre 10

This article was first published in the 2021 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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