Last week’s Amazon Prime Day (days, in fact, July 12-13) generated record sales, moving 300 million items, up 20% year-over-year, according to CNBC . That, along with general online shopping trends since COVID is expected to act as a radio wake-up call, Jacobs Media said vice president and general manager Paul Jacobs.
“If you don’t think this is impacting the radio industry, think again,” he warns, citing results from Jacobs’ Techsurvey 2022 showing that more than half of top radio listeners have made the most of their holiday shopping online. “This is a sobering statistic for an industry that depends on local businesses and store traffic, especially in smaller markets where resorts depend on the health and vibrancy of local retail businesses. These dollars come directly out of the pockets of revenue on which radio stations depend. If the trend continues, many simply won’t be able to stay afloat.
Encouraged by stations that, on Prime Day, offered free spots to local advertisers with an outstanding response, Jacobs suggests that “the radio industry needs an offensive battle plan to help preserve its category of local retail, [a] plan rooted in partnership with the companies that have been its partners for decades.
Jacobs offers at least a dozen ways for radio to go on the attack, including an umbrella “shop local” campaign running across all of the station’s platforms, giving listeners shopping sprees to spotlight local malls. , even filling the retail space with a pop-up studio on the holidays. “Negotiate temporary station space from Thanksgiving to Christmas where you can stream shows, sell merchandise, showcase mall stores and gain much-needed exposure to finish the fall book in style,” says Jacobs.
At the same time, stations should work with local retail groups and broadcast organizations – and use all available research and resources, such as those of Borrell & Associates. Nationally, radio and retail groups should team up to make the message even more powerful, says Jacobs. “At a high level, bringing together radio leaders, especially the RAB, with organizations such as the National Retail Federation and the National Automobile Dealers Association to compare notes and forge strategies. Hopefully this will lead to an industry-wide initiative implemented by these groups, their members and all broadcasters.
But, as Jacobs warns, time is running out. “The shift to online retail and the move away from in-store shopping on the high street or mall is rapidly changing. To help maintain the health and vibrancy of local radio, local broadcasters will benefit from be proactive.