Recently the United Kingdom took the monumental decision to leave the European Union. This decision has, at the time of writing this article, led to the resignation of our Prime Minister, the fluctuation in the value of the British Pound and an opposition party in complete disarray. Whilst the cascading impact of the vote to leave is likely to continue for years, I wanted to use this piece to outline the probable effects Brexit will have on UK-based retailers, and how to enhance your digital advertising.
The international opportunity – expanding reach
However brief or long-term the weakness of the pound might be, this represents an opportunity to increase sales in international markets for many retailers.
For retailers that already have an international presence, this is just a case of increasing campaign budgets and making sure that your now more competitive price-points are a major feature in your ads, whilst targeting markets that benefit from a weak pound.
But for retailers who have no or limited international presence then the opportunity is even bigger, providing the exchange rate hasn’t completely sapped their profits. It doesn’t have to be too difficult or too expensive - just duplicate your current English language campaigns and target English language users in markets you have the ability to ship your products to.
With that simple step you’ve vastly expanded your potential customer-base without the expense of having to translate your website. Whilst this is likely to have the biggest impact on English speaking countries, there are people around the world searching in English and looking for English products. With the exchange rate now in their favour, there is a higher likelihood that they will purchase.
The internal opportunity – focusing on the positives
As importing from abroad becomes less desirable, UK based retailers may be able to capture market share that was once held by foreign imports.
Consumers will quickly become savvy to the extra cost of ordering products abroad, so include keyword modifiers such as “made in England” that will help attract them. Also, consider highlighting these relevant aspects in any of your other ad formats including, display banners or social advertising.
Value-based searches will also likely increase such as “cheap tan walking boots.” Brands who do not wish to be associated with the term “cheap” could still benefit from appearing against these searches in instances where there products are now comparably cheaper to international products. And of course, competitive price points should always be highlighted in any ad format.
The big ticket delay – the importance of data
While there is doubt about the future of the economy, many customers will hold off on buying big-ticket items. But they will still be browsing. So collecting audience data on your websites is more crucial than ever.
Make sure that you are capturing info via retargeting pixels, and be smart with how you categorise these audiences in terms of pages viewed, items added to baskets etc.
Also, while the uncertainty lasts, consider extending the duration of your audiences. What might have worked previously on a 30 day audience might now be applicable to a 45 or even 60 day audience as the research phase lengthens due to a reduction in consumer confidence.
What the future holds?
Ultimately, we won’t know a lot about what the future holds for a post-Brexit Britain until it’s upon us. But if the digital marketing industry holds true to its core concepts of flexibility, efficiency and transparency then we can ride out any storm and continue to drive success.
Paul Risebury-Crisp, Account Director, NMPi.