Shop Direct's A Very Stylish Christmas



Client: Shop Direct
Category: Retail (mCommerce)
Agency: Somo
Country: United Kingdom.
Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

Christmas is the most highly competitive period for any retailer. More than 13 million shoppers hit the high street on the last weekend before Christmas in 2013.

Shop Direct’s biggest and fastest growing digital department store,, helps customers live a stylish life, particularly at Christmas. As a pure play online retailer, is fighting a war on two fronts, against both its online and high street competitors. An innovative mobile marketing campaign was the perfect way for the brand to differentiate itself and take advantage of the fact that two-thirds of its traffic comes from mobile and tablet during the festive period. Therefore, it could leverage mobile to “hijack” shoppers on the high street.

Mobile was included in the overall campaign as recognized that it was key to have a rounded, consistent campaign across all channels. Seventy-two percent of adults regularly dual-screen whilst watching TV, and two thirds of the digital department store’s traffic comes from tablets and smartphones. capitalized on this behavior by synching mobile activity with TV ad spots. Using audio recognition technology, mobile ads were targeted to coincide with the TV ad soundtrack, current U.K. hit singles, and competitors’ TV ad soundtracks, enabling mobile to act as a direct response channel for TV.


Objective and Context

With a budget of £150,000 for mobile activity, the target return on investment was 7:1, aiming to generate over £1 million in sales. The aim of the Christmas campaign -- fronted by British celebrities Fearne Cotton and Rochelle Humes -- was to drive awareness, consideration and sales at with a focus on seasonal fashion and gifting.’s primary target audience was women ages 25-44. This group is very active on both social media and mobile.


Creative Strategy

TV advertising, combined with SMS, video and interactive media placements amplified reach with display ads and social media driving the final response to sale.

In the final five days leading up to the cut off point for Christmas delivery, a live Twitter countdown was pinned to the top of’s feed. During peak Twitter times, the countdown would switch to a video player showing a special message from Rochelle Humes wishing customers a Merry Christmas and reminding them how many days they had left to shop. The message generated urgency and, as customers could click to shop straight from the countdown, also drove direct sales.

Using hyper-local targeting, mobile display and SMS messages were sent to's target demographic when they entered key shopping destinations. This reminded stressed out shoppers just how quickly and easily they could complete their shopping right there and then on their smartphones.



Here are the results of the campaign: had a record-breaking Christmas with total sales up 23 percent year-on-year.

  • Mobile was a key driver of this success, with a more than 45 percent year-on-year increase in mobile sales. 
  • The Christmas campaign delivered more than double the target ROI of 7:1 with an actual attributed ROI of 15:1. 
  • This campaign drove directly-attributed sales of over £1.5 million.
  • The campaign acquired new credit customers at a cost-per-acquisition less than £50, which is well below target and lower than all other channels.
  • The campaign helped contribute to the 4 percent uplift in Christmas sales year-on-year for Shop Direct and the 45 percent growth seen in number of mobile purchases year-on-year.





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