Ebay marks 18 years since UK launch with top 18 search trends

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Ebay online shopping trends

Ebay has revealed its 18 top online shopping search trends in the UK to coincide with its 18th anniversary since it launched here.

The online retail giant’s second annual UK Retail Report provides an insight into how UK consumers shop online, surveyed from the 23 million visitors to the website.

This is the top 18 search trends of the 12 months:

1) Retro items and vinyl. The Stranger Things release prompted nostalgia, with searches for show-related items up 400 per cent in July 2016, while the release of T2: Trainspotting led to a new love for the original in January. In music, vintage vinyl also made a comeback. For the first time ever, December 2016 saw more albums bought on vinyl than downloaded digitally, in a moment hailed by the music industry as a tipping point. Ebay said nearly 280,000 vinyl records sold in the last three months of 2016 – about one every 30 seconds.

2) Sporting items. In August 2016 when Team GB were heating up Rio, Brompton Bikes were being searched for on big cycle event days. Then in July of this year, Roger Federer’s Wimbledon victory sent searches for his merchandise skyrocketing, with a 141 per cent increase compared to the month before.

3) Board games. Speak Out was last year’s most wanted game with 14 searches a second in September 2016, and there was a spike for classics like Monopoly in December, with a search every minute as people sought out family favourites ahead of the festive season.

4) iPhones. “iPhone” has remained the number one most-searched for item on Ebay in the UK, with sales exceeding £1 billion, with Sunday evenings marking the most popular time to browse. In the last year Brits have spent more than 730 million minutes on site searching for the perfect iPhone accessories – that‘s enough time to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy over one million times.

5) Animal-themed toys. Christmas toy sales increased in October 2016. There were four searches a second for the most-wanted toy: the Hatchimal. Paw Patrol was another big breakthrough – with two searches a second in August last year.

6) Early bird Black Friday shopping. Last year customers searched and price-checked their favourite items up to a week before Black Friday to score the best deal. Over 20 million Brits visited Ebay on Black Friday weekend in November 2016.

7) “Clean eating” gadgets. Less than two months before the annual feasts of Christmas 2016, Ebay UK saw an increase in sales of “clean eating” gadgets. Sales of products such as blenders, spiralizers and food processors soared – with a 10 per cent month-on-month increase in blender sales alone.

8) Party shopping. In December 2016, there was a 23 per cent increase on finding the best tipple, which searches for space saving “extendable tables” increased by 122 per cent. There was also a 42 per cent uplift in pillows in November 27, as Brits prepared their homes for relatives in time for Christmas.

9) Movie-inspired searches. Top influencing films included Suicide Squad, Star Wars, and La La Land. Searches for the summery “yellow dress” increased three fold on January 15 this year thanks to Emma Stone in La La Land. Fans of Line of Duty  also embraced the “Great Rewatch Trend” after the finale when there was one search a minute for the previous series. Finally, in July 2017, winter arrived with the long awaited return of Game of Thrones. Costume and DVD searches rose – with more than 22 Game of Thrones-related items sold per hour in the run up to this year’s season.

10) Car parts. Windscreen wipers and lights were the items Brits were most likely to fix, but there was a surge in engine parts – with searches spiking in February 2017 at two per hour.

11) Summer preparation. In February 2017, Brits started getting excited for spring, with searches for camping and outdoor sports gear rising dramatically. Meanwhile, the hottest June in 176 years meant Brits raced to purchase paddling pools to keep cool – with a spike on June 19 at nine searches per minute.

12) Books. In the run up to World Book Day in March 2017, parents forked over more than £386,000 on costumes for their children. Harry Potter remained the favourite, with more than 40,000 searches in the lead up to World Book Day.

13) Sneakers. When Adidas launched the Yeezy Boost trainer in April 2017 Ebay saw a 17 per cent uplift in searches on site. The trainers were also selling for more than 10 times their original sale value, due to demand – resulting in an average 148 per cent return on investment. Additionally, searches for Adidas and Nike surged on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2016.

14) Fidget spinners and air conditioning units. Both are new entries this year as Brits sought to keep calm and cool.

15) Royal children-inspired searches. Princess Charlotte continues to influence the shopping habits of parents across the country as they race to copy her style, with searches for Princess Charlotte increasing tenfold in a massive spike on May 2 this year, her birthday. Meanwhile, searches for her older brother Prince George increased 30 per cent on his birthday compared to the week before. Demand for his Peter Pan shirt also soared the day after his 4th birthday, during the Royal Tour of Germany.

16) Garden gnomes. While cardboard box sales on Ebay rose by 62 per cent in the first week of May as Brits moved homes and garden furniture sales skyrocketed throughout spring, the garden gnomes dominated with 42 per cent sales in April 2017. This meant Ebay was selling more than 20 gnomes per day.

17) Back to school shopping. 76 per cent of searches between June and August this year were on mobile, with on-the-go families prepping for the new school year all while still enjoying their summer holidays.

18) Live music shopping. During Ed Sheeran‘s performance at Glastonbury in June 2017 this year, searches on site more than quadrupled compared to the previous day. The much-anticipated ticket release for his 2018 UK & Ireland tour saw a huge spike on July 8 – with one search per second.

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