November 17th, 2020
How confident Scottish consumers are driving a spending boom across key categories

Scotland’s superb win over Serbia to qualify for the Euros after that dramatic penalty shoot-out left the nation celebrating and brands flocking to out of home screens with some splendid Victory Rolls.

By full time, campaigns were going live across our roadside network as clients switched copy, taking full advantage of the dynamic, flexible capability of Ocean’s digital screens to turn up the volume when it matters most.

Amid the turmoil of coronavirus in the UK and its circuit breaker lockdowns with more Tiers than Hampden Park stadium, defying the bookmakers’ odds was THE best moment in a tremendously difficult year.

But in tough times the Scots are nothing if not resilient and that’s reflected in consumer confidence. There’s a stoic optimism which shows no signs of slowing in the run up to Christmas and beyond.

Shrugging Off Recession

This buoyancy has led to an influx of categories from media and entertainment, to clothing, alcohol and yes, even travel, as operators plan for sector recovery and returning passengers.

There’s a lot to compete for. Ocean’s exclusive @TheLocal consumer panel continues to track consumer intent in Scotland. So far the study has revealed that:

  • While they can, 64% of people in Scotland intend to spend just as much or even more than usual on having meals out.
  • 45% said they will spend more on staycations, while 27% said they will be spending more than usual on international holidays once the travel ban is relaxed.
  • 60% said they will spend just as much as usual on personal care and cosmetics, with 20% spending more than usual.
  • One in 10 said they will spend more than usual on takeaways.
  • And in terms of big ticket items, 45% are not going to change their spend habits, with 20% intending to spend more.

Christmas Revenge Spend

According to @TheLocal’s Christmas insights for Scotland:

  • 74% say they will be spending more or as much on presents this year.
  • Of those, 30% more will spend between £250 and £500 on gifts.
  • 37% more plan to spend between £500 and £1,000.
  • 50% of consumers say they will buy more gifts online this year, rising significantly among those aged 16 to 34 (58%) but falling a little for those over 55 (44%).

Luxury and Designer Goods

Taking a stroll around Scotland’s city stores and the Michael Kors and Charlotte Tilbury carrier bags are out on force. Christmas revenge spend is on.

  • Less money spent this year on annual holidays and flights has left more in the bank to be splashed on high end goods. According to the social sharing site Pinterest searches for luxury goods are up by three times.
  • Searches for diamond jewellery necklaces are up even more, by five times, giving jewellery and luxury brands every reason to advertise in the environment out of home at scale affords.

Homes & Property

 Across Scotland, homes are selling in 15 days compared with the UK average of 27. All this moving has also boosted the renovations and furnishings sectors:

  • Zoopla puts the speedier sale time down to the more recent release of pent up demand in Scotland and simpler buying process north of the border.
  • Annual house price growth was greater in Edinburgh at 3% to £229,100. Glasgow recorded a rise of 2.3%, while UK wide the increase was 2.5%.
  • And properties UK-wide are selling 31% faster than the same period last year.
  • Here, builders say they have waiting lists for home extensions and sun rooms of between eight and 10 months.
  • Due to high demand in Scotland, the average waiting time for a new sofa is now 20 weeks (previously 12 weeks).

And The Scottish Roads Are Busier Than Ever

 As people chose to swap public transport for their cars, roadside advertising has been at full throttle to help brands get maximum mileage from their campaigns.

  • Although average traffic is down 26%, Scotland is seeing an increase of up to 8% in traffic between the hours of 10am and 4pm which is a key shopping period for people who are heading for retail centres.
  • Demand for used vehicles has seen prices rise by 8.6 percent year on year (source: Autotrader), the largest ever monthly price increase ever recorded.
  • The switch from public transport to private cars has brought rail and bus companies back on track with campaigns to promote safer travel and guidance for their passengers.

DOOH: Fast And Flexible Planning

Demand for premium DOOH space is driven by our fast and flexible digital delivery system.

  • Throughout Covid-19, bookings can be tailored according to the latest geographical restrictions.
  • When postcodes are moved into different Tiers, campaigns in the affected areas can either be paused, the message repurposed, or switched back on within hours.
  • The reactive nature of DOOH is a chance to mix short term tactical copy and retail messaging with the brand building power of premium DOOH and its ability to prime other channels because memory encoding correlates with purchase intent.

Primed To Spend

Unlike England, Scotland operates a more flexible 5 Tier framework (from 0 to 4) which means life is less restricted for people living in the majority of council areas including the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This more workable approach is helping to sustain consumer confidence and intent to spend more, or just as much, over Christmas and beyond.

This is important for planners and advertisers.

  • Retail – some four million live and work in a Level 3 areas which allows non-essential retailers to remain open and hair and beauty salons and gyms to offer individual treatments and exercise.
  • Hospitality – cafes, pubs and restaurants are allowed to remain open until 6pm serving food and non-alcoholic drinks for groups of up to six from two households. Something everyone takes advantage of at the weekends.
  • Primed to Spend – Ocean’s @The Local research shows that people are eager to start spending more over the coming quarter as restrictions are relaxed and they seek a taste of normality.

For categories looking for a fast start out of lockdown, the message couldn’t be clearer. Now is the time to get planning.

To find out more, contact Debbie Ferguson on [email protected] or call 0141 378 5612.

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