Are you ready to start doing your Christmas shopping? Odds are that 1 in 4 people have already started buying stuff well ahead of time.
A recent study from eBay Ads UK suggests that hopes of a restriction free traditional Christmas in 2021 has boosted consumer confidence and prompted people to start shopping sooner (as early as late August), plus, the report also suggests that people are planning to spend more this festive season.
The survey of 2,000 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas revealed that 60% are confident that Christmas 2021 will be as normal a Christmas as can be and just under 50% plan to do carry on as they normally would during the festive season. A further 25% of respondents said they think this Christmas will be more exciting than normal.
We spotted this Christmas trees on sale here banner in a street local to our offices, proving even the small retailers are getting ready for the Christmas early.
UK consumers feeling upbeat and optimistic about Christmas 2021
The upbeat and positive vibes among UK consumers is the driving force behind the early Christmas spending. A sizeable 41% of people polled said they aim to complete all their Christmas shopping by the end of November.
Those shoppers who manage to free up their December will have more time to enjoy festive experiences, which could help give the much troubled hospitality sector a shot in the arm.
Let's talk money! In 2019 the average UK consumer who celebrates Christmas spent £551.34 and in 2020 that figure was £527.88, however, this year people are planning on spending even more, thanks in part to extra savings during the pandemic (for those on furlough) and also possibly a greater desire to make 2021 a better festive season than 2020.
Some consumers remain cautious.
It's not all positive though, as a significant number of people (45%) are still worried about further disruption due to Covid-19. Those respondents said they are likely to make last minute Christmas plans and they also plan to meet family and friends for early Christmas celebrations, just in case some restrictions are reinstated.
Harrods Christmas World 2021 is a must see
Consumers sceptical of a trouble free Christmas were given extra food for thought when PM Boris Johnson recently announced his winter plan for dealing with Covid-19 saying he will not rule out 'plan B' of vaccine passports, masks and homeworking if infections start spiralling out of control. Other controls and restrictions are also still on the table.
Christmas World at Harrods is open and taking in customers already. Tourists from all over the world are picking off the best bits.
Retailers and brands responding to consumer confidence
Retailers and brands buoyed by the increased confidence in UK shoppers, have already started stocking their shelves and adding inventory based on popular searches. In August, ebay.co.uk measured a 66% increase in searches for the keyword 'Christmas' and 'Xmas'.
We too have also seen a marked increase in visitors to our Christmas freebies page. We are ranked number 1 on Google for the search term 'Christmas Freebies' and In August 2021 we say a 300% increase in traffic heading to our Christmas Freebies page.
What are people searching for this Christmas?
According to the study from eBay Ads, The Sporting Goods category experienced a sizeable surge in Christmas-related traffic. Searches were up by 262% in August 2020 compared to July. Other popular searches for Christmas related shopping included Clothes, Shoes, Accessories, Home & Furniture and DIY.
Brands that have a good eco-friendly profile will also do well this Christmas with most consumers saying they are environmentally conscious. During the lockdown, eco-friendly product sales increased in the UK with 54 per cent of adults saying they feel joy when they do their bit for environment. A survey of 2,000 UK consumers said they are happy to spend thousands on top of their existing annual household outgoings to be more climate-conscious.
Advertising executive, Pauline Robson from MediaCom UK said: 'The brands that will win this Christmas will be those that are able to use this insight to drive cultural relevance and to ensure that their campaigns reflect the diversity of their audiences. But if there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it's that things can change quickly and that businesses need to be able to adapt and pivot in response, so flexibility will be key.'
Even the smallest of retailers, such as Christmas tree vendors are setting up their stalls already in some local areas. Clearly, they won't start selling trees this early but just letting customers know where they are nice and early should help drum up custom as soon as people are ready to decorate their homes for the festive season.
Christmas tree and decoration specialists Balsam Hill have been running some interesting promotions on Facebook for months, getting consumers to engage in what they want their homes to look like for the festive season.
OfferOasis.co.uk/christmas is ranked number 1 in Google for the search term Christmas Freebies. We've seen a huge increase in traffic to the page already.
Our Christmas freebies section has also seen a spike in traffic from search engines including Google where we are ranked number 1 for keyword 'Christmas Freebies'.
Our Christmas freebies section has started to fill up with free stuff, competitions and special promotions from brands and retailers that are acting early to grab the attention of consumers.
The most popular freebies and competitions we feature in the run up to Christmas is Advent Calendar of all sorts from traditional chocolate advent calendars to beauty/cosmetics advent calendars and more increasingly popular, Whisky/spirits advent calendars.
You will also find things like free Christmas decorations, Christmas cards and much more in our Christmas freebies section.