Glam frock: Brits set to ditch trackies as lockdown lifts

drinkingRetailers must get ready for a huge surge in spending over the coming weeks, as Monday’s planned lifting of the Covid lockdown will kick-start a consumer shopping bonanza – with interest in clothing and holiday accessories set to soar among the old and young alike.

So says new consumer research carried out by eBay Ads UK, which reveals that 20% of consumers have more disposable income compared to pre-pandemic and 69% already have a priority purchase in mind for when lockdown lifts.

These factors demonstrate a need for brands to ensure they are engaging customers with the most relevant content well ahead of key lifting dates if they are to win their share of spend, the report reckons.

Clothing is set to be a key purchase for many consumers, with the research finding that one in five respondents (22%) plan to buy new clothes as a priority once lockdown lifts.

But shoppers will not just be after any old clobber apparently; analysis of shopper behaviour on ebay.co.uk carried out by eBay Ads UK indicates that “going out” clothes will be the key focus for consumers as they ditch their trackie bottoms for new night-out outfits, even though pub gardens will not be opening before April 12 at the earliest.

On June 27 last year, a week before UK pubs reopened following the first lockdown, young people were gagging for it, with searches for ‘skinny jeans’ on the site jumping 47% compared to the day before, while searches for ‘hoop earrings’ and ‘fake eyelashes’ rose by 27% and 24% respectively in the same timeframe.

But the research also reveals that older generations are just as keen to go out on the town. While just over a quarter (26%) of 16-to 24-year-olds say they are most excited to go to a pub, bar or nightclub when the current lockdown lifts, the 55+ age group are not far behind, with 23% reporting that this too would be their priority.

Insights from eBay Ads UK also demonstrate that older generations were some of those most keenly prepping for a night out as lockdown lifted last year.

On June 27 2020, a week before pubs and bars first reopened, searches on ebay.co.uk for ‘high heels’ made by shoppers aged 55 and above surged 53% overnight, compared to a 29% uplift for shoppers aged 18 to 34. Meanwhile searches for ‘clutch bag’ made by shoppers aged 55 and over rose 55%, compared to a 53% increase amongst 18- to 34-year-olds.

While some Brits are keen to hit the pubs and clubs, many are raring for a break. Some 38% of consumers surveyed say that post lockdown they are most excited to go on holiday – which comes second only to the excitement of seeing friends and family (40%).

Once again older generations lead the way, with 43% of consumers aged 55 and over saying they were most excited to go on holiday when lockdown ends, compared to 30% of 16-to 24-year-olds.

However, when it comes to preparing for trips away, the research found that the youngest generations are most likely to purchase holiday clothes and essentials. Some 21% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 18% of 25- to 34-year-olds surveyed say they are planning on purchasing holiday clothes as a priority when lockdown ends, compared to just 9% of those aged 55 and over. Meanwhile, 12% of 16- to 24-year-olds are planning on buying holiday essentials, such as suitcases, compared to 3% of those aged 55 and over.

With shopper insights from eBay Ads also finding that searches in the ‘holidays and travel’ category on the site shot up 75% as travel corridors opened up in July 2020, brands are being urged to prepare to cater to a boom in travel interest once restrictions lift.

eBay UK general manager of advertising Harmony Murphy said: “We know that Brits are itching to start living their lives to the fullest as lockdown restrictions lift, and these insights demonstrate that brands need to ensure they’re engaging excited consumers with relevant products and content in advance of key moments – whether they want to go out on the town or go on holiday.

“But to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward, brands mustn’t forget to keep an open mind and tap into the freshest data to ensure they’re engaging with audiences that might be less predictable, but just as important.

“For instance, with the older generation on track to receive their second Covid-19 vaccinations within the coming weeks, brands would be wise to ensure they are not overlooking this important demographic, longing to make the most of their newfound freedom.”

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