Retail surgery: How will shoppers spend this Christmas?
The rewards for getting peak season right are huge, but retailers need to move fast and smart.
Ebay’s head of UK and EU multinational advertising Rob Bassett says: “By observing the shopping habits of our 19 million monthly users, we know that although many people started thinking about Christmas as early as August the main sales opportunities are yet to come.”
“Last November there were two searches every second for Christmas items on eBay, and festive shopping reached its zenith on 6 December.
“But within this peak shopping period there are nuances across product categories that retailers should be aware of.”
“We know there are a huge number of external factors that influence shopping behaviour, and gifting is no different”
Rob Bassett, Ebay
For example, on Ebay last year, the clothes, shoes and accessories category’s busiest searching window kicked off in October, before spiking in the first week of December and ending just over a week before Christmas.
In contrast, the DVDs, films and TV categories experienced their highest levels of activity in the week of 20 December, potentially as shoppers scrambled for easy last-minute presents and Christmas viewing to keep the family entertained.
Planning for the unpredictable
Heightened competition during peak season means retailers need to use all the tools at their disposal.
For Bassett, this is where planning for the unpredictable becomes vital.
“We know there are a huge number of external factors that influence shopping behaviour, and gifting is no different.
“For instance, the peaks in consumer interest triggered by TV shows influence present choices; when Season 7 of The Great British Bake Off launched, interest in baking products on eBay soared by 133% in the following hour.”
Bassett argues that above all, being able to identify and target shoppers who are in a gifting mindset will empower retailers to reach out with the most relevant and compelling advertising messages.