Christmas shopping to start earlier than every this year thanks to pandemic

Christmas shopping is due to start earlier than ever this year as new research from Ebay Advertising reveals an unexpected consequence of the pandemic.

Ebay Advertising has published new research which found that 27 per cent of consumers plan on starting Christmas shopping earlier than they did last year, while 34 per cent say they have already bought Christmas related items.

The research also revealed that searches for “Christmas” or “xmas” on the online marketplace were up 44 per cent from April to May compared to the same period last year.

Christmas purchases this year are expected to be focused on new hobbies shoppers have taken up during lockdown, with 75 per cent of those surveyed saying they plan to continue their hobby for at least the rest of the year.

READ MORE: Ebay promises not to launch Christmas campaigns until November

“With so many events, occasions and gatherings cancelled this year, it’s easy to understand why Brits are already excited and planning ahead for a more thoughtful and meaningful celebration,” Ebay’s head of advertising Harmony Murphy said.

“However, with so much having changed this year – from plans and priorities to interests and incomes – brands now face a huge challenge as they look to make their Christmas campaigns relevant to a transformed consumer.”

Customers are also expected to spend less on Christmas than they did last year due to financial insecurities brought on by the pandemic.

Nearly a third of consumers say they plan to spend less this year, with 37 per cent stating that income or financial security were top factor influencing what they’ll buy this year

MediaCom’s managing partner Pauline Robson added: “Whilst the buzzword as we went into lockdown was ‘unprecedented’, the word as we emerge is ‘flexibility’. The approach to Christmas this year is definitely one of caution, flexibility and adaptability.

“People’s habits and behaviours have changed and are adapting as restrictions ease and the trajectory of the virus over the coming months is uncertain. Scenario planning is key to ensure that we can adapt to any changes that may happen.”

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