It has been noted in the past that the build up to Christmas starts earlier every year, with consumers expecting deals and sales before the holidays.
By analysing search patterns, Experian has identified two new types of shopper – the Festive Early Bird who begins shopping in early December and the Savvy Christmas Saver who holds out for deals.
The Festive Early Bird tend to be aged between 45- 60 or fairly affluent families living in rural areas or the outer suburbs of towns and cities where their high street options are likely to be limited. For these shoppers guaranteeing delivery of the right gifts is key and they prefer to order early in the season to avoid disappointment. Early shoppers are also time poor parents who require the convenience of online shopping and are looking to finish their shopping as quickly as possible.
According to the study, Amazon and John Lewis are the most likely places to shop for Early Birds who typically have household incomes of over £100k.
Top towns for Festive Early Birds include Hull, Inverness and Swansea.
The study also found that the Savvy Christmas Saver, who is normally aged 18-25, single and on a low income of less than £10,000 a year, are leaving their Christmas shopping right up until the last minute but the view that they are disorganised for doing so is starting to shift.
James Murray, Digital Insight Manager at Experian Marketing Services, commented: “Consumers that leave their Christmas shopping right up until the last minute used to be badged as disorganised, but the new sales cycle means that in many cases, these are the savvy shoppers that stand to get the best deals on their gifts this Christmas.”
Murray concluded: “The different spending patterns outlined here demonstrate the need for marketers to know their customers and their shopping preferences. To make the most of spending patterns in the run up to the festive season, marketers must ensure that they are reaching their customers through the appropriate channel and at the right price point.”
By analysing Experian Hitwise search data from 2012, Experian predicts that 14th December 2013 will be the date that these online shoppers in particular start actively searching for “Christmas Sale” offers and expecting to receive discounts from their favourite retailers – two weeks before Boxing Day and still in plenty of time for delivery by Christmas.