November set to spark ‘mobile madness’

In this Article

Over 700,000 smartphones sold in one week.

Retro phones now on Christmas gift lists.

More than 2,000 smartphones bought at midnight.

As Christmas approaches, brands across all sectors are hoping to get in on the action. But insights released today by eBay Advertising reveal the opportunities associated with mobile devices, as the end of November sees more interest in smartphones than any other point in the year.

The week commencing 29th November 2015 saw the biggest volume of smartphone sales last year. Over 700,000 smartphones were bought off the back of searches for brands like iPhone and Samsung as shoppers looked to treat themselves or others as the Christmas countdown began.

But it seems that it’s not just the latest models proving popular. During the same week last year, purchases of the Nokia 3310 were 23% higher than a month before, highlighting a market for retro models as quirky gifts.

Mobile Mondays

eBay’s data shows that Sundays and Mondays are the most popular days for smartphone purchases, with the biggest spending spike between 8pm and 9pm as people fill their evenings with smartphone shopping. On Sunday 2nd October this year, more than 140 smartphones were bought every minute in that hour period.

But it seems that people are shopping for smartphones at all hours of the day. On that same day, over 2,000 handsets were bought between midnight and 1am. And between 6am and 8am on the Monday morning, sales shot up by 112%, as many people got started with their shopping as soon as they woke up.

Tech triggers

Although the festive season sees a spike in smartphone interest, launches of new models also create opportunities for brands to cross-sell other models and accessories.

On the day of the iPhone 7 launch this year, saw 117% more searches for the iPhone 6 than the new 7 model – and 52% more searches for the even older iPhone 5. And in the days following the launch of the Samsung S7, Samsung phone cases soared by 87%, compared to a month before.

And it’s not just the younger generations looking for the latest technology. The over 60s bought more than 100 iPhones per hour during the week of the iPhone 7 launch this year, highlighting the need for brands to look across demographics.

Rob Bassett, Advertising Director at eBay in the UK says that recognising the ‘tech triggers’ throughout the year, which spark people’s interest in products like smartphones, will enable brands to take advantage of the knock-on effects that these can have.

“It’s important to look at peak periods such as Christmas but also to delve into what is going to be of interest to each individual. That’s why we have launched our new Mobile Contracts Advanced Targeting tool, to help brands pinpoint exactly when people are likely to be in the market for a new phone or accessory, based on previous shopping behaviour.”

Christmas is a key time for technology sales and eBay’s data shows a clear spike in smartphone interest as people look to find the perfect gift for a loved one. Looking at search data also highlights how new smartphone launches can impact sales across other models. Understanding people’s actual behaviour is key to brands being able to offer the right products to the right person at the right time.
Pauline Robson, Director, MediaCom