As people around the UK gear up for Christmas party season, Rakuten Marketing reveals the fashion trends likely to be taking the limelight at this year‘s office events. The digital marketing company analysed over 10,000 tweets, and combined it with the shopping habits across its network of over 400 brands, to identify the garments that shoppers will be buying for their Christmas parties.
The little black dress (LBD) still reigns supreme; this Christmas party staple will be the outfit of choice for over half (50.79%) of party goers this season. Tweets are pouring in around this item of clothing, suggesting that the classic black dress is still definitely en Vogue.
Festive red is the second most popular colour after black, pulling in 13.52% of the tweets. Green is the third most popular dress colour, and many shoppers are also talking about picking up sequined outfits in stores.
Rakuten Marketing display advertising data shows that shoppers spend on average £144 on fashion and accessories during the Christmas season. What‘s interesting is that shoppers are spending more on fashion and luxury purchases over the seasonal period than ever before, with sales up 29.3% year-on-year (YOY) and 35.6% YOY for those sectors in 2013 compared to 2012.
Further to this research it has also been revealed that men become more fashion conscious, they are increasingly sharing their opinions on outfits via social media. Nearly a third (31.29%) of tweets around the subject of ‘party season fashion‘ discussed menswear or referred to men‘s clothing. Specifically, men were found to be discussing dinner jackets, pocket squares, bow-ties and pins, highlighting the increasing potential of the menswear market over the festive period.
Mark Haviland, MD at Rakuten Marketing Europe said: “Each year we see that men are more vocal and fashion conscious than ever before, and trends for the party season are likely to be set by them, just as much as women. Retailers need to remember that men shop differently from women though. For example, our research revealed that over half of male shoppers have dedicated shopping apps installed on their handsets. Brands shouldn‘t underestimate the power of digital channels to influence this market; the experience within smartphones and apps are an essential factor in their decisions to buy.”
Party season purchases are most likely to be made on desktop; this accounted for nearly three quarters of fashion and accessory purchases in November and December 2013. Tablets accounted for a fifth of purchases (20%), but it was sales across smartphones that increased most rapidly between 2012 and 2013. Smartphones saw year on year growth of 54.4%, higher than any other channel, suggesting that more shoppers are making festive purchases on the go.
Nearly two thirds of fashion sales are driven by voucher, cash back and loyalty publishers at this time of year, highlighting that fashion shoppers are encouraged to buy when offered an incentive. In luxury, bloggers drove nearly 10% of sales, emphasising the value of partnerships with online influencers for premium brands at Christmas time.
Commenting on all the findings Haviland said, “Understanding customers‘ desires is crucial if retailers are to stand out this Christmas party season. Marketers should tap into trends to target customers with not only the right products, but also on the devices and sites where they will be most receptive to buy. Compared to the rest of the year, 54% more fashion and accessory purchases were made during the Christmas season through online display advertising last year, so by optimising ads based on customers‘ preferences, brands can catch their attention at this competitive time of year.”