August is beginning to look a lot like Christmas

In this Article

0.5 million searches for “Christmas”.

29% increase in searches for “Christmas tree”.

Fashionistas start shopping for Christmas first.

August fires the starting pistol for Christmas shopping, with almost half a million searches for “Christmas” counted on ebay.co.uk in August 2015 - up 70% on the month before - and searches for “Christmas tree” rising by a staggering 300% in the month, compared to July 2015.

But people shop for different things at different times.

eBay Advertising launches the 2016 Christmas tracker

Designed to help brands better target their campaigns, by identifying the peak shopping periods in the run up to 25th December and beyond.

Finding the perfect Christmas party outfit is often the first thing on Britain’s Christmas shopping list, with the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories category seeing searches for ‘Christmas’ shoot up in the third week of August last year, and really ramp up in earnest from early October, giving the category the earliest and longest period of sustained interest, and highlighting the need for fashion brands to begin their Christmas ad campaigns early and continue to engage with customers throughout the festive period.

Games and gadgets were the next to spike last year, with interest in the Toys & Games category soaring for a seven-week period spanning the beginning of November through to the middle of December. And the Home, Furniture & DIY category saw a similar uplift, as shoppers prepared their homes to host family and friends for Christmas celebrations.

The window of opportunity for home entertainment brands came much later, focusing on a highly competitive four-week period that brands need to pre-empt, as consumers searched for last minute stocking fillers and easy entertainment.

Download the 2016 Christmas tracker here

Pivot points

Searches for Christmas-related items tend to increase steadily from August onwards, but eBay Advertising’s insights reveal that there are certain calendar hooks that spike interest – for example, searches for “Christmas” on ebay.co.uk soared by 74% in the week that followed Bonfire Night last year, compared to the week before.

Brands should also be sensitive to more ad hoc external triggers such as the weather too. A flurry of thundery storms saw searches for “Christmas tree” on ebay.co.uk shoot up by almost a third (29%) during the week of the Bank Holiday in August last year.

And despite consumers starting early, Christmas shopping continues right up to the day itself, with over 300,000 searches made for “Christmas” on ebay.co.uk in the final week of the countdown last year, showing that brands need to ring fence and defer some budget to see them to the very end of the season.

Rob Bassett, Advertising Director at eBay in the UK believes there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to planning a Christmas campaign.

“Brands with products in multiple categories should consider weighting their advertising spend differently, to capture shoppers at every stage of their Christmas preparations. A degree of flexibility is needed as well, to accommodate those opportunistic moments that create short but lucrative windows for driving sales. This can be anything from the weather to the latest craze that can really influence the way that shoppers are thinking.”

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We may still be enjoying our summer holidays but, with many shoppers turning their attention to the festive season, it’s vital that brands are on the front foot to take advantage of the early windows. And marketers need to be quick to identify their audience and understand when they shop in order to tap into this Christmas spend.
Pauline Robson, Director, MediaCom