It’s the most wonderful time of the year but, with economic uncertainty, the backdrop for shoppers this 2018 will likely be cutting back and adopting sensible spending at Christmas – Santa won’t be the only one making lists and checking them twice.
With the cost of everyday items and volatility of the pound increasing as we move closer to a future Brexit agreement, spending is something we’re all more conscious of, especially in the run-up to the biggest holiday of the year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – we’ve seen spending in the face of adversity before, and Christmas is still very much the time of giving, bringing us together despite possible tougher times ahead – it just means shoppers will be thinking even more carefully about where they choose to spend their money this year. We look at our predictions for what’s going to get shoppers parting with their hard-earned cash this Christmas.
Experiential elements over ‘soulless stuff’ as #Immersion is king for gifting
Last year we saw a shift towards gifting experiences, with shoppers placing more value on shared moments with their loved ones than ‘stuff’. This is set to continue as shoppers focus on living their best lives and spending their money and time well. With finances top of mind, days out, trips away and holidays are likely to feature within gifting this year to ensure events and shared moments are protected, even if things get tough.
This year it’s not just about experiences, products with an immersive or experiential element – gift-based advent calendars, artisan spirits, alcohol-tasting kits - are set to be popular purchases. These are fulfilling shoppers’ desire to find gifts that go beyond just ‘soulless stuff’ by tapping into different senses and capturing their imagination.
Tapping into #Desire with affordable luxury
With budgets under pressure, shoppers are more likely to be celebrating at home again this year, helping to make the most of a reduced budget for Christmas. New and exciting food and drink, premium ranges and home decorations will be sought after to make the celebrations feel special.
Supermarkets are likely to do well here, offering luxury items at affordable prices – many already showcasing their range of Christmas goods including chocolate carousel desserts and footlong pigs in blankets to name but a few.
Lack of #Belonging and high street nervousness impacting gift cards appeal
Given this desire to bring experience and luxury to Christmas this year, gift cards come under increasing pressure. Once popular as a ‘catch all’ allowing friends and family to get precisely what they want, many now felt to lack thought, the personal touch shoppers seek to show they really care and the chance to create a sense of #Belonging.
Gift cards are also coming up against shopper nervousness around the financial health of high street retailers –WHSmith has remove Debenhams’ cards from its stores, potentially confirming shoppers’ fears and further discouraging these as gift ideas.
Luxury brands and experiences can win in this area, e.g. Red Letter Days/Virgin experience days, spa days, restaurants and leisure activities, capitalising on their ability to tap into #Belonging, #Desire and #Immersion sought after this Christmas.
see how your brand can with the race to christmas 2018