eBay Insights: New start with fresh intentions for everyone


One in four (27%) consumers plan to set fresh intentions this September, to mark the start of a new school year. That’s according to new research published today by eBay Advertising, which is advising retailers to tap into the ‘back to school’ feeling to help drive sales as the recession hits.

And with four in ten (40%) expecting to spend more in the next three months than they did over the past three, and 30% saying they want to be inspired by brands as they look for ways to reinvent themselves, now is the perfect time for retailers to ramp up their engagement. This can include everything from refreshing your listings and ensuring everything from Item Specifics to images and titles are in tip top shape as well as considering pricing, strike through pricing and upping your Promoted Listings activity on the type of products consumers will be considering.

September top fresh intentions

  1. Be more active (33%)
  2. Eating more healthily (32%)
  3. Being more organised (23%)
  4. Looking our best (20%)

We actually act on our fresh intentions

Insights into previous shopping behaviours of eBay’s 32m monthly users suggest that these resolutions are more than just lip service.

Health and well being

Last year, searches on eBay UK for ‘nutribullet’, ‘yoga mat’ and ‘gym leggings’ shot up overnight on 1st September, by 41%, 26% and 22% respectively, as healthy intentions were put into practice. Similarly, searches for ‘mattress’ and ‘bed linen’ bounced on the turn of the month – up 16% and 19%, suggesting that sleep was starting to be prioritised after the hot summer months, as the beginning of Autumn prompted people to think about nesting.

Getting organised

eBay’s insights also revealed a renewed focus on organisation, likely a product of the annual stationary purchases that are inked into our brains. On 1st September last year, searches for ‘planner’ and ‘diary’ each increased by 22%, while searches for ‘notebook’ rose by 19%.

Young and old

While the sentiment to start afresh is strongest amongst 16-24 year olds (likely due to the volumes of this age group heading to university or starting their first full time jobs), as many as one in ten aged over 55 feel the same – suggesting that, for some of us, the new term mindset never grows old.

“When it comes to what consumers are looking for at this time of year, there is a clear focus on self-reinvention – presenting an unmissable moment for retailers to engage. However, while popular purchases revolve around our health, looks and productivity, it’s important to remember that everyone will take a different approach to reinventing themselves. Ventures don’t get much more personal than this. Retailers should refrain from a one size fits all approach and ensure their marketing campaigns are based on the freshest data available, to ensure they’re engaging audiences with messages that will really resonate with them and their current mindsets.”
– Harmony Murphy, Head of UK Advertising, eBay


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