Christmas present

During August last year shoppers made almost half a million searches for ‘Christmas’ on eBay, a 70% rise on the previous month. As we approach August bank holiday weekend, it goes to show that it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas.

August bank holiday weekend is predicted to fire the pistol for early Christmas shopping, according to new shopper insights released today by eBay.

Last year, searches in the 'clothes, shoes and accessories' category leapt up in the third week of August, before peaking in early October, giving the category the earliest and longest window of interest. It seems that finding the perfect Christmas party outfit is often the first thing on shoppers’ minds.

The 'toys and games' category was the next to peak in 2015, followed by the 'home, furniture and DIY' category, as people switched between gifting and getting their homes ready for the festive period. The window of opportunity for home entertainment brands came much later, as consumers searched for last minute stocking fillers and easy entertainment.

Although searches for Christmas-related items tend to increase steadily from August onwards, certain events also spike interest – searches for “Christmas” on ebay.co.uk soared by 74% in the week that followed Bonfire Night last year.

Rob Bassett, head of UK and EU multinational advertising at eBay, commented: “Christmas seems to be coming earlier every year…With an elongated window of opportunity for brands to engage, marketers need to think carefully about how to weight their spend when it’s going to deliver the biggest returns.”

“Marketers should consider not only weighting spend according to category peaks, but also retaining a degree of flexibility to allow for the unexpected. Our insights show that external factors - from fads to shifting weather patterns – have a huge impact on how and what people buy, the run up to Chrimstas in no exception. So whilst brands should plan ahead for their Christmas campaigns, it can also pay to be ready for the unexpected.”