What would a festive retail season look like in a pandemic?
Not many of us have the answer, honestly. However, with all that has happened over the year, it’s almost certain that all of us look forward to some sense of normalcy, and nothing comes closer than to honour the tradition of year-end festive shopping along the brightly lit malls of the famous Orchard Road in Singapore. And Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) wants to be the force that energises festive spending in physical retail.
The improved coronavirus situation in Singapore has made larger-scaled, safely distanced physical shopping possible once more. Hence, the media solutions team at SPH partnered with major retailers to put together a campaign targeted to bring shoppers back to the stores for Black Friday.
Exclusive shopping vouchers from our partner retailers were publicised across most of our flagship newspapers and online publications. All our readers had to do was to scan and redeem the vouchers, and use them at the physical retail stores.
This shares certain similarities with our previous campaign where we engaged our readers to scan our print ads for attractive offers by our advertisers. The difference this time was that the online vouchers were hosted on our customised e-commerce platform Shop For Good, allowing us to pool vouchers from different retailers in a unified touchpoint, reducing the friction for anyone who wishes to grab the vouchers.
And boy, do Singaporeans love to shop! Within 12 hours of the vouchers going live, most of the vouchers were fully redeemed. In total, more than 80% of the vouchers were snapped up. But the work is not done, yet.
One of the key success factors was the coordination with the retailers, particularly their frontline operations. Before the campaign started, SPH conducted briefing sessions with each retailer to ensure their teams would be familiar with the campaign mechanics, reducing their stress of executing a new campaign during a busy shopping festival. We also had support staff in place to manage calls from any of our retailers should they need any assistance.
On the day of the sale, a roving task force was sent down to retail stores to snap and share the best deals and promotions on a live blog. Readers could get live updates throughout the day and plan their shopping route accordingly.
Just as the pandemic introduced e-commerce to most of the world, the SPH Black Friday campaign is a timely reminder that shoppers do look forward to shopping festivals, especially one that is large enough and driven by major retailers in a city.
The campaign has also shown us once again that, when we apply innovative solutions to a print product, we are able to drive and deliver real results to our advertising partners. Print is still an effective medium in curating deals from multiple advertisers and presenting them all in one place. With the right mix of media activation via multiple channels, as well as a reimagined way of providing quality customer service to our advertisers, there isn’t a crowd too big for us to move.