Christmas shopping starts Bank Holiday weekend

Get ready retailers Xmas is comingBad news for those who thought August Bank Holiday was all about basking in the sunshine – or dodging the downpours – while watching the world go by; for many consumers it means just one thing: Christmas shopping.
That is according to an eBay Advertising study, which predicts that the weekend will fire the pistol for early festive bargain hunters. Almost half a million searches for ‘Christmas’ were recroded on eBay.co.uk during August last year, up 70% from the previous month. Meanwhile, searches for ‘Christmas tree’ shot up by 300% in the month, compared to July 2015.
To help marketers get a head start with planning their Christmas campaigns, eBay Advertising today launched its 2016 Christmas Tracker – predicting the peak windows of opportunity across categories.
According to the Christmas Tracker, finding the perfect Christmas party outfit is often the first thing on shoppers’ minds. ‘Christmas’ searches in the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories category leapt up in the third week of August last year, before peaking in early October, giving the category the earliest and longest window of interest.
The Toys and Games category was the next to peak in 2015, followed by the Home, Furniture and DIY category, as people switched between gifting and getting their homes ready for the festive period.
The window of opportunity for home entertainment brands came much later, as consumers searched for last minute stocking fillers and easy entertainment.
Although searches for Christmas-related items tend to increase steadily from August onwards, eBay Advertising’s insights reveal that certain events also spike interest – searches for “Christmas” on ebay.co.uk soared by 74% in the week that followed Bonfire Night last year.
Rob Bassett, head of UK and EU multinational advertising at eBay, commented: “Christmas seems to be coming earlier every year, however our data also shows that Christmas shopping continues right up until the big day itself too, with over 300,000 searches made for “Christmas” on ebay.co.uk in the final week of the countdown last year. With an elongated window of opportunity for brands to engage, marketers need to think carefully about how to weight their spend when it’s going to deliver the biggest returns.
“Marketers should consider not only weighting spend according to category peaks, but also retaining a degree of flexibility to allow for the unexpected. Our insights show that external factors – from fads to shifting weather patterns – have a huge impact on how and what people buy, the run up to Christmas in no exception. So while brands should plan ahead for their Christmas campaigns, it can also pay to be ready for the unexpected.”

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