As more shoppers turn to online shopping, JC Penney is making the shift. The traditional retailer is changing its advertising strategy this year to reach shoppers in the digital environment, especially through social media, search and influencers.
“It also gives us the opportunity to be more flexible in meeting the changing timing of consumer purchases,” said Bill Cunningham, vice president of marketing at JC Penney. “We’re less locked into [media buying] and are able to move our messaging digitally to make sure we’re with our customers when they’re ready to shop.”
Over the past year, JC Penney has pushed digital marketing more aggressively than in previous years, devoting at least three-quarters of its ad budget to performance marketing, paid search, social media, influencers and comparison shopping engines According to Cunningham, Via linear TV and newspaper inserts. (He declined to provide further details on JC Penney’s media spending.)
In fact, JC Penney completely eliminated newspaper ad insertion from its media mix ahead of Black Friday shopping (earlier each year start year). Cunningham added: “We really took stock of this and focused on putting all of our energy and energy into digital advertising rather than putting our energy into newspaper inserts,” and historically, This is us in the market. “
Penney’s move is to attract a portion of online shoppers and keep up with global e-commerce trends, where online sales have climbed steadily since the outbreak in the U.S. in 2020. According to eMarketer, the forecast The staff expects e-commerce to account for 20% of global retail sales by 2023, up from 19.7% this year. In 2019, eMarketer reported that e-commerce accounted for 14% of global retail sales. When it comes to e-commerce, JC Penney faces a lot risks, especially as the retailer has been lagging rivals in sales and continues to deal with a mountain of debt that began to worsen in 2020 when it went bankrupt shortly after the pandemic hit. (About how the brand hopes to For more on turning things around in 2019, click here.)
Starting holiday marketing earlier than usual and focusing on digital has resulted in earlier shopper interest and engagement, Cunningham said. (He did not provide further details, including sales or site metrics.)
JC Penney spent more than $161 million on ads between January and June this year, up from nearly $113 million last year A year in the same time frame, according to Kantar. According to Pathmatics, the retailer has spent at least $35 million on digital media so far this year, down slightly from nearly $38 million in 2021. (Kantar, unlike Pathmatics track social media spend like that.)
For a traditional brand like JC Penney, a digital-first strategy allows brands to not only tap into online communities, but also build their own, increasing brand awareness and relevance , said Rebecca Sisson, brand strategist at Proverb marketing agency.
“A digital-focused strategy can be a good move for brands in several different stages of growth,” Sisson In an email, “Data that you can leverage on its own is a powerful enough tool to make any brand’s investment in digital worthwhile.
Target has done a good job of bringing audiences together through user-generated content, content and leveraging the power of content like “Target Shop with Me” on YouTube, Sisson added.
Since at least the last year, Penney’s has been steadily increasing its investment in online channels to create a direct line of communication between Cunningham and shoppers. Next year, Cunningham said, the brand will seek Increase brand consideration to drive shoppers to buy and engage them to keep brands top of mind in 2023.
“We are really focused on reaching our target customers in a one-on-one, And really focus on targeting the customers with the projects, products and statements that resonate with them the most,” he said.