Two thirds UK consumers will begin Christmas shopping by July

Category: News
Two thirds UK consumers will begin Christmas shopping by July

Bazaarvoice have revealed that the Christmas hustle and bustle could begin as early as July – with nearly two-thirds (63%) beginning shopping by July. That’s according to their 2024 Global Holiday Season Consumer Behavior report based on insights from more than 2,000 UK consumers out of a total 8,000 globally.

Summertime sleigh bells? When Christmas 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%) will start Christmas shopping by August or earlier. Three-quarters of Brits (77%) will start by September, and 85% of UK consumers will start by October.

Overwhelmingly, UK shoppers are far more excited about the Christmas season. 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.

How soon is too soon to deck the halls? The report also reveals that just under a third of UK customers (30%) believe that before October is too early for stores to showcase holiday items and sales… but a staggering 41% 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%). Brits also lead the way when it comes to how helpful consumers find gift guides – with a third (39%) saying that they find them helpful.

Where did consumers ultimately make holiday purchases last year? As brands and retailers begin sharpening ecommerce and social commerce strategies, they should be aware that the report shows UK consumers did most of their holiday shopping online last year (39%) vs. in-store (24%). The UK also leads the way (with 57% 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% 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%), 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%).

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

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.

– Ed Hill, Senior Vice President EMEA, Bazaarvoice

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