Retail advertising trends 2024 | Clear Channel

The future of retail advertising: Emerging technologies and trends

In the UK alone, retail sector sales total £450+ billion annually. That huge spend is driven by diverse consumers across the country who represent what is arguably the single largest addressable advertising audience. Whether they’re shopping online or in-store, they’re prime targets for retail advertising.

But, like all other sectors, retail is evolving. Alongside that evolution, the techniques and technologies that advertisers use to reach their audience in retail settings are changing. We’re here to discuss some of the top retail advertising trends, how advertisers can take advantage of them, and what they mean for the effectiveness of retail advertising campaigns.

Top retail advertising trends for 2024

These are some of the biggest trends unfolding in retail advertising in 2024:

Omnichannel marketing 

Omnichannel marketing revolves around adopting an integrated approach to multichannel campaigns, blurring the lines between one and the other to create a single, unified campaign. It’s hugely effective at creating cohesive, consistent audience experiences, and can drive better engagement than single-channel campaigns alone.

It’s also perfectly suited to retail advertising, mirroring the growing popularity of hybrid online and in-person shopping. Consumers are now able to blend their online and physical retail behaviours into a single fluid journey. Omnichannel marketing allows advertisers to create similarly fluid marketing experiences.

There are lots of potential methods to create effective omnichannel retail marketing strategies, but the best methods combine diverse channels like social media, websites, and Out of Home (OOH). Deploying a Digital Out of Home (DOOH) campaign near a supermarket with creative that uses a QR code to allow the audience to visit a digital platform and unlock a discount code, for example, is a great way to take advantage of the unique benefits of each channel.

Hyperlocal and contextual ads

Contextual relevance is a powerful force in all kinds of marketing, and that’s no less true in retail advertising. Building campaigns around that idea – deploying contextually appropriate creative in suitable environments – can generate powerful results, capturing more attention from the audience.

The best results come from campaigns that show relevant content at a relevant moment, associated with an average 32% increase in brain response according to a Clear Channel study. 

This is more possible than ever thanks to the capabilities of dynamic DOOH networks. Advertisers can devise retail advertising campaigns that target distinct audiences in specific regions and deploy them in the perfect advertising sites, based on comprehensive local demographic data. 

For example, an advertiser could roll out a high street DOOH campaign in three specific cities, with personalised creative for each advertising site to point the audience towards a nearby store for activation. This approach ensures that every impression is a relevant one, maximising ROI.

Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR), not to be mistaken with virtual reality (VR), is the term used to describe computer-generated imagery that’s overlaid on the real world through a device equipped with a camera. Although far from being a brand-new technology, AR is still making waves in the advertising space, including in retail settings.

It’s particularly complementary to OOH advertising, with practically limitless potential for AR applications in OOH ads. It’s useful for advertisers who feel constrained by the format of a screen or billboard, allowing them to create mixed-media experiences that make the surroundings a part of the ad itself.

Advertisers can, for example, use QR codes in their OOH creative to allow the audience to unlock an AR experience, presenting new possibilities for interaction with the local environment. This can even include overlaying AR directions to the nearest retail store for customer activation.

Programmatic DOOH

Programmatic OOH advertising involves automation in the buying of OOH ad slots, based on certain triggers being activated on a per-campaign basis. It allows advertisers to roll out campaigns with hard-coded rules on when and where their ads show, without having to constantly be involved with the management of the campaign.

It’s a powerful tool in a retail marketer’s arsenal, allowing them to create complex strategies that deploy different creative according to various data inputs - including the day of the week, the time, the weather, and more. This means they can ensure their ads are always relevant to the audience, increasing their impact.

Programmatic OOH can be used in diverse ways to achieve great results. In an outdoor shopping mall campaign, for instance, programmatic rules could be changed to advertise different products depending on the weather at the time the ad is shown. 

If you’re looking for a way to leverage retail advertising trends in an OOH or DOOH campaign, get in touch with us to learn more about how to use the Clear Channel network.

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