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New research from leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy, has revealed UK shoppers’ plans to get involved in – and celebrate – the Rio Olympics. The survey (of 1,000 household shopping decision makers) indicates 51 percent of shoppers will get involved, presenting retailers with an opportunity to inspire shoppers and increase sales.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing commented “After a quiet 2015, 2016 is a busy summer of sport which continues to present retailers and brands with a number of opportunities to engage with shoppers. Interest in the Olympics is high – but the time difference between us and Rio is significant and could impact marketing successes. Marketers will need to be clever in the way that campaigns are carried out – beyond the live events and into the store & online.”

Key findings:

• Who will be celebrating the event?
o 51 percent of UK shoppers are planning to get involved or celebrate the event.
o Men are more engaged in celebrating the event than women – 56 percent compared with 47 percent respectively.
o Families with children are most likely to join in – 58 percent, followed by couples with a partner/spouse – 54 percent.
o Life stages again show that young families are most interested in the event – 58 percent. Older families are next in line with 54 percent whilst 50 percent of Generation Y and Empty Nesters will be joining in.
o Geographically interest is highest in the South of England with 55 percent. The Midlands came in second place with 51 percent and the North of England was marginally less with 50 percent interested.
o On the age front, 45-54 year olds are most interested (55 percent) followed by 35-44 year olds with 54 percent. 18-24 year olds were the least interested with 41 percent planning on getting involved.

• Time difference concerns?
o It hadn’t occurred to 56 percent of shoppers that the time difference would cause difficulties in watching events.
o 53 percent of shoppers said they were less likely to watch Olympic events due to the time difference (meaning events may be shown at night).
o 33 percent of shoppers said they were likely to record Olympic events that were shown at night and watch them later.

• How are shoppers planning to get involved/celebrate?
o Medium – 44 percent of shoppers said they would be following the events on the television and 18 percent said online. Ten percent said they would use their smartphones to get involved and nine percent would be using the radio. Catch-up TV was also cited by nine percent as a medium for keeping up to date.
o Location – 14 percent said they would be watching events with family and friends making it a social occasion and six percent said they would be going to the pub to watch it.

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy concludes: “The London Olympics presented exceptional opportunities for retailers – although interest in the 2012 Games did not really gain traction until the games had commenced. It will be interesting to see whether interest in Rio receives a similar boost following the opening ceremony. Despite the time difference, high profile athletes and events will attract substantial shopper interest, and retailers need to be ready to react depending the performance of Team GB’s competitors.”

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