Thursday, July 25, 2024

Nearly two-thirds of UK consumers will begin holiday shopping by July – Home of Direct Commerce

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Bazaarvoice, a platform for full-funnel authentic user-generated content (UGC) and social commerce solutions, has released its 2024 Global Holiday Season Consumer Behavior Report based on insights from more than 2,000 UK consumers out of a total 8,000 globally. One of the report’s key findings is that holiday hustle and bustle could begin as early as July – with nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) beginning shopping by July.

Since early this year, brands and retailers have been formulating holiday strategies to capture consumers’ attention. The report’s key findings will help firms fine-tune seasonal tactics with data-driven decisions.

Summertime sleigh bells? When holiday shopping takes flight across the globe

According to the report, shoppers worldwide are already gearing up for the holiday season. A full two-thirds of Brits (69 per cent) will start gift shopping by August or earlier. Three-quarters of Brits (77 per cent) will start by September, and 85 per cent of UK consumers will start by October.

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

How soon is too soon to deck the halls? The report also reveals that just under a third of UK customers (30 per cent) believe that before October is too early for stores to showcase holiday items and sales… but a staggering 41 per cent say it is never too early.

Brands and retailers are key: Where consumers kick off holiday shopping

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

Where did consumers ultimately make holiday purchases last year? As brands and retailers begin sharpening e-commerce and social commerce strategies, they should be aware that the report shows UK consumers did most of their holiday shopping online last year (39 per cent) vs. in-store (24 per cent). The UK also leads the way (with 57 per cent of Brits saying so) when it comes to being more likely to purchase a product online if we are given a discount code by the retailer.

Video content: The preferred format in social media gift searching

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

Respondents were 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. 47 per cent prefer user-generated content. 44 per cent prefer brand-created content. Only 8 per cent prefer influencer-created content. The majority of UK consumers (62 per cent) don’t seek out creator content on social media during the holiday season at all.

Speaking to the research, Ed Hill, Senior Vice President EMEA at Bazaarvoice, 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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