Christmas heartbeat of the High Street

Here are the top take-outs from our recent research into how consumers are feeling about Christmas 2016

  • This year there’s greater appetite for embracing Christmas earlier; big toy events and early deals having helped stimulate interest. There’s willingness to spend as consumers try to forget about Brexit uncertainty and find light relief in the festive spirit. We’ve also heard less resentment about how early retailers begin to push Christmas – an ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ mentality emerging.

  • Online looks set to feature ever more heavily in consumers’ Christmas journeys – ‘constant connection’ to shopping proliferating as mobile-based buying becomes second nature to more and more. Meanwhile, retailers are more seamlessly integrating themselves into social feeds and other digital experiences, and the growing speed and convenience of delivery is providing the almost-instant gratification that was once the preserve of stores.

  • Bricks and mortar can thus feel lacklustre – brands need to up the ante on experiences to stand out and make physical visits worth the effort.

  • Amazon’s reach is vast and it’s increasingly shoppers’ first port-of-call in searching out items. It certainly wins on our Driver of Control – reviews, phenomenal choice, keen pricing and seamless usability making it hard to resist, particularly for the growing number of Prime subscribers.

  • Personalisation remains the big emerging theme in gifting. Shoppers’ seeking out ever-more unique and thoughtful ideas that help them look like they’ve ‘put the effort in’.

Tune in next week for our insights on how Christmas windows are resonating with shoppers.