COVID-19, social distancing, and growing unemployment mean that Christmas shopping will be a little different this year.
Many marketers are unsure about what tone to strike this holiday season; should ads be simple and sombre to reflect the times or joyful and extravagant to cheer people up?
To help, we have identified four themes which we believe will influence consumers this Christmas to help you with your marketing strategy.
With lockdown being reintroduced across the world, it is clear that most Christmas shopping will be taking place online this year.
The use of online shopping and global events means that many consumers will start their Christmas shopping earlier this year because it will allow shoppers to stagger out the shopping experience.
In the US, holiday shopping started on October the 1st this year, due to the challenges of COVID-19 and the impact of the US presidential election. In previous years the average person in the US begins Christmas shopping on November the 1st.
Last-minute shopping is unlikely to be so prevalent this year as consumers are concerned about disruption from COVID-19 and politics impacting delivery slots close to Christmas.
A survey conducted by UGC platform Bazaarvoice found that Amazon is set to become the go-to retail platform of choice this holiday season with 57% of Britons searching for gift ideas and 74% plotting purchases from the all-encompassing platform.
For brands to compete against the convenience of Amazon, they should use social media to create a more unique shopping experience.
Many shoppers will miss the fun of Christmas shopping and if brands can find a way to bring that excitement to online shopping they will be able to inspire consumers and capture their imaginations where they are, online.
Bazaarvoice’s survey also found that younger consumers are more likely to venture off the beaten track with 46% of 18–24-year-olds (gen Z) citing Instagram as the most important ideas platform.
Brands are also testing out a more diverse marketing mix and will monitor campaigns more closely. Our latest whitepaper found that marketers are open to exploring additional channels. Over the next year, 58% of marketers are considering working with influencers on YouTube, followed by a further 55% on Instagram, 35% on TikTok, 20% on Twitch, and 10% on Triller.
In the US, YouTube and Pinterest are two channels that brands are scaling on this Christmas.
Pinterest is likely to be a popular platform for shoppers this Christmas as it has recently increased its e-commerce capabilities so that users can now directly click on a link or the object they like and be taken directly to the website to buy it.
Instagram is another popular social media platform for e-commerce. Instagram has confirmed that it will begin testing in-app shopping on Reels later this year. Once established, this would mean that shopping is available on almost all parts of the platform, including the main feed, Stories, live streams, and IGTV.
It’s unsurprising that a quarter (25%) of 16–24-year-olds believe Instagram is the most likely advertising channel to lead to a purchase, higher than YouTube (21%) and significantly more than TV advertising (12%).
This Christmas will see many individuals reducing their spending as unemployment rises, and the economy continues to struggle. Bazaarvoice’s survey found that 44% of consumers have said that COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their spending plans.
Smaller budgets mean that consumers are very focused on the price and the value of gifts. So it is crucial for brands to show consumers what they will gain from the product and what value it will add to their lives.
One way consumers determine the value of an item is through reviews. Bazaarvoice’s survey found that in the UK, 31% of consumers will decide between two products based on product reviews compared to 36% of people who will make a choice based on price.
Influencer Marketing allows brands to combine advertisement with reviews, and it is an effective way to show customers the benefits of the product from a source which consumers trust and respect.
Our recent whitepaper found that 80% of Gen Z’s and 72% of Millennials seek inspiration from social media platforms when purchasing. Gen Z is currently the largest cohort who hold an enormous amount of spending power. It’s important that brands are reaching and engaging this audience where they are spending the most time.
COVID-19 has shown all of us how fragile the planet is and re-affirmed to us that we need to change our consumer habits.
Sustainability is something that is on consumers minds this Christmas and brands are starting to adapt to this.
Three major UK retailers have announced the ban of glitter this Christmas
due to environmental concerns. Glitter is a type of micro-plastic and does not biodegrade with the plastic particles often ending up in the stomachs of fish and birds.
TAKUMI X, the creative and consulting division for TAKUMI, is a creator-first approach which allows brands to work closer than ever with creators.
Influencers have built up expertise through creating content day in and day out which inspires their followers to invest in their life and interests. These insights will help brands make content which inspires to purchase.
The key to advertising this Christmas will be creativity and authenticity and that is exactly what Influencer Marketing will provide.
If you would like to learn more about how TAKUMI can help you this Christmas season, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research from our whitepaper found that a quarter of influencers (25%) want to establish relationships with brands that are aligned with their moral standpoints, including the environment.
Our research also found that consumers are actually looking to buy from brands that have a social conscience and who work with influencers with strong political viewpoints.
However, more than half (55 per cent) of marketers are anxious about working with social media influencers who are vocal about social and political issues.
It may seem daunting at first, but working with politically active influencers can help brands form stronger relationships with consumers.
Influencers can help brands to create authentic and meaningful socially responsible content which shows consumers they care about the environment.
In a survey conducted by OnePoll and production company Truman Films, it was found that three out of four people think brands should not produce their usual style of Christmas campaigns this year and instead actively focus on real people.
63% agree brands should not spend money on big, lavish Christmas ads this year, as big-budget “blockbusters” fall out of favour in the COVID-19 era.
When asked about the style of advertising they would like to see, respondents signalled a preference for real stories and a move away from scripted, fictional characters. Just 8% of people thought brands should cast actors over people telling their own stories.
Consumers’ appetite for real stories makes Influencer Marketing a very effective form of advertising this Christmas.
Our whitepaper found that 32% of consumers across the UK, US and Germany find influencer content more relatable to their real lives than brands’ own advertising content.
Influencer Marketing allows brands to sell their products by working with creators to make real stories that resonate with consumers.
Ensuring that brands create authentic and meaningful campaigns which relate to consumers, it’ss crucial for brands to work closely with creators. During this unprecedented time, they can give brands crucial insights into what is important to their followers and how they’re feeling.