‘Holidays are coming’… Brits begin festive shop early

christmas-new-2Most schools may have yet to break up for the summer holidays but the vast majority (63%) of UK consumers are already planning their Christmas shopping, with over two-fifths (41%) insisting it is never too early for retailers and brands to showcase festive items.

So says the Bazaarvoice 2024 Global Holiday Season Consumer Behaviour Report, based on insights from more than 2,000 UK consumers out of a total 8,000 globally, and designed to help firms fine-tune seasonal tactics with data-driven decisions.

And it seems that shoppers worldwide are already gearing up for the festive season, with two-thirds (69%) of Brits planning to will start gift shopping by August or earlier, three-quarters (77%) saying they will start by September, and 85% beginning by October.

Overwhelmingly, UK shoppers are far more excited about Christmas; Brits are four times more likely (63% vs. 13%) to start shopping before July than US shoppers. The research also shows Germans wait the longest, with 63% not starting until November or later.

However, just under a third of UK customers believe that it is too early for stores to showcase holiday items and sales before Octber… yet two-fifths say it is never too early.

Going directly to the websites of the brands and retailers they like is the most popular way for UK consumers to start shopping (30%); Brits also lead the way when it comes to how helpful consumers find gift guides – with over a third (39%) saying that they find them helpful.

As brands and retailers begin sharpening ecommerce and social commerce strategies, they should be aware that UK consumers did most of their holiday shopping online last year (39%) vs. in-store (24%). The UK also leads the way (57%) when it comes to being more likely to purchase a product online if we are given a discount code by the retailer.

Whether aimlessly scrolling or actively looking for gifts, nearly half (48%) of Brits say their festive social media shopping is intentional and spontaneous. According to the report, UK consumers say video format shines brightest on social media when capturing their attention during the holiday season most effectively (38%), with Brits mostly preferring to watch videos that are 1-5 minutes long (32%), closely followed by videos that are a minute or less (29%).

When asked what type of content they prefer to see on social media during the holiday season (user-generated, brand-created, or influencer-created), UK shoppers are split but user-generated just edges it out.

Some 47% prefer user-generated content; 44% prefer brand-created content; and only 8% prefer influencer-created content. The majority of UK consumers (62%) don’t seek out creator content on social media during the festive season at all.

Bazaarvoice senior vice president EMEA Ed Hill said: “It is clear Brits are looking to spread holiday spending out over a longer period but are not afraid to pull the trigger when they have a reason to do so – be it a discount code or product recommendation. Brands and retailers need to be aware and start showcasing their holiday offerings soon so they don’t inadvertently leave potential sales on the table.”

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