NEWS12 December 2017

Bargain hunting behaviour entrenched for Christmas shopping

News Retail Trends UK

UK – Shoppers in the UK are optimising their Christmas spending by searching for early or last-minute bargains, according to research from consumer analytics company Foresight Factory.

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Against a backdrop of declining high street sales, falling consumer confidence and rising inflation, its report 21st Century Christmas explains how UK consumers have been showing several distinct behavioural trends.

For instance, in 2016, 27% of consumers participated early bargain hunting focused on Black Friday. But it also starts earlier than that: almost one in five consumers had already purchased a Christmas gift in early May, while 29% had by early October.

Christophe Jouan, CEO & co-owner at Foresight Factory, said Britain’s retailers and marketers have to maintain a delicate balance in terms of messaging and accommodating these adjusted spending habits – whether that is offering novel forms of gift cards or looking to tap into Christmas spending earlier into the year.

“Those who win this year will tread the careful line between encouraging spending and demonstrating an empathetic understanding of the precarious context in which people operate. The continued decline of consumer purchasing power alongside the precarious political context of Brexit has unsurprisingly hit consumers’ confidence, and this is expected to impact and materially alter the way people approach the golden quarter.

“Last year, we saw consumers attempt a variety of tactics so that they could celebrate Christmas while getting the best bang for their buck, and these will likely be magnified this year,” he said.