Get set to re-set in September – ‘golden opportunities’ for retailers, says Talon

Get set to re-set in September – ‘golden opportunities’ for retailers, says Talon

With 63% of Irish consumers viewing September as a time for reset, OOH presents a golden opportunity for brands and retailers.

A new study from the Out of Home media agency Talon in Ireland projects Irish shopping trends in the lead up to September, revealing how retailers can effectively engage with consumers ahead of the busy retail period.

September is the new January for many Irish shoppers, as nearly two thirds (63%) say they see the back-to-school month as a time for reset and wellness. The data comes from a new consumer behaviour survey of Irish shoppers from Out of Home agency, Talon in Ireland, that highlights the opportunities for brands and retailers to engage with consumers across the summer, in preparation for the September reset.

Irish shoppers’ spending habits

The research, which was commissioned by Talon in Ireland and conducted by Spark Market Research, reveals that despite the government’s release of its new free primary book policy, parents still envisage an increased level of spend for the back-to-school essentials in 2023 with spend increases across the board in comparison to the same period in 2022. Most respondents (56%) plan on spending between €100-€499. Nearly a quarter (24%) answered €500-€999, followed by 11% answering €50-€99, with 8% revealing they would spend upwards of €1,500.

The survey also found that consumers will be shopping across a variety of stores, with Tesco retaining its position as the most popular retail store (65%), followed closely by Dunnes (60%). Just over half (52%) of Irish respondents are once again choosing to keep things local by spending in local school supply stores in their area.

Brick-and-mortar stores are the preferred means of shopping in September in comparison to online channels. The study shows that 58% of consumers anticipate that they will shop in shopping centres and 40% said they would choose local shops. A further 21% will be shopping on the high street while only 35% of consumers said they’d be heading online.

Moreover, when shopping for the back-to-school reset period, most Irish shoppers anticipate a later start with August being the most popular month at 36%, followed by July at 30%. Only 27% of respondents have begun already and 5% expect to wait until the week before term starts. This is very different to last year when just 1% left it to the last week before beginning the back-to-school shop and 42% had already started at this point last year.

September reset and wellness trends

Talon in Ireland’s study shows that almost two thirds (63%) of Irish respondents agreed that they are conscious of their lifestyle and view September as a month to set goals, reset and keep grounded. This means that the back-to-school period of 2023 is a huge opportunity for brands to reset and empower people of all ages – not just those with obligations to the school calendar.

The survey shows that many Irish people plan to use this September as the month to commit to healthier lifestyles, establishing a healthier diet (58%), adopting a new fitness routine (64%), spending more time with family & friends (28%), or prioritising self-care (45%).

With this in mind, Talon in Ireland has highlighted some top tips to help brands and retailers effectively target shoppers during this pivotal time, and how they can harness Out of Home (OOH) advertising to impress consumers as they look for ways to refresh and reset their lifestyles:

  • Start early: Brands should build anticipation for the shopping season as early as possible. Through sustained brand building OOH campaigns advertisers can achieve summer long engagement, ensuring prominent recall when the moment arrives for making a purchase.
  • Invest in a multi-format presence: To effectively target consumers throughout their shopping journey, it is crucial to have a multi-format campaign approach, where brands can reach consumers across a variety of environments throughout their day. By combining digital and classic out-of-home formats, brands can make strategic placements to ensure being top of mind with consumers.
  • Data is your ultimate ally: Brands can utilise data to target the correct audiences effectively and identify areas with high footfall such as gyms, parks, and wellness centres. This can be layered with consumer behaviour insights so out-of-home campaigns can resonate with target audiences. This data-driven approach allows brands to deliver a message to the right people, at the right time and in the right moment – maximising impact and the effectiveness of your campaign.

Caroline Decourcy, Insights Director at Talon in Ireland, said: “It’s that time again, when the end of the summer holidays signals a fresh, new year. And while there will be many Irish households that will be planning to shop for back-to-school season, this is also an optimal time for brands and retailers to target shoppers that are looking to switch up their lifestyles.

“Out of Home (OOH) is one of the most effective advertising channels for brands to make an impact with consumers this September and in the lead-up. By harnessing data and insights, brands are able to effectively reach the right consumers, and in the locations that matter. With the pressures of cost inflation top of mind with many Irish shoppers, it is also the ideal platform to communicate a value and quality message at scale, and by opting for a multi-platform approach, can also help to steal a share of mind by influencing the purchase decision.”

Methodology: Research was conducted by Spark Market Research, on a main urban sample of 250 respondents 16+ using an online methodology. The research was conducted in June 2023.