We all know that retail spending increases dramatically over the holiday season. With gift giving on the forefront of everyone’s minds, brands and retailers are doing all they can to make the most of this busy retail period.
To better understand where and when shoppers will be spending their hard-earned time and money this year, we surveyed 500 Australians in partnership with the CXI Research Group – Swinburne Business School.
“To help our clients capitalise on the gift-buying madness,” said Andrew Potter, Managing Director, CPM Australia and Retail Safari, “our annual Christmas Shopping Intentions report offers vital insights into this major trading milestone. To make sure our clients are making the most of their retail investments prior to the holiday folly, our aim is to arm them with a deep view of expected purchasing behaviour this Christmas. This year’s edition includes findings such as spending plans, where and when consumers intend to shop, what they plan to buy, and the reasons why shoppers prefer to shop in-store.”
Here are five key insights from our 2018 Christmas Shopping Intentions study that we’ve shared with our clients that will be driving successful retailing this holiday season:
1. PROVIDE HIGH-TOUCH SHOPPING INTERACTIONS
For the third year running, the “ability to see & touch” the product remains the top reason (75%) by a large margin for shopping in physical stores instead of shopping online. Compared with 2017, more surveyed consumers – across all age groups – are planning to purchase from a physical store only. While the shopping experience has transformed in recent years, the most successful retailers and brands will understand the power of high-touch interactions and will maximise accordingly. Although shoppers’ lives are powered by technology, the human touch is still a key attribute when it comes to customer experience. In fact, these high-tough interactions are brick & mortars most valuable artilleries.
2. MAKE STAFF AVAILABLE SINCE SHOPPERS STILL WANT TO TALK
Although some purchases will be made online, the physical store still has a role to play in holiday shopping. Physical store shopping will be particularly popular across all age groups. In addition, the study reveals that 22% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate (up from 15%). Knowing that shoppers still want to talk, it’s up to the brands and retailers to make sure staff are available.
3. ATTENTION ALL DEPARTMENT STORES – SHOPPERS ARE COMING
As the convergence between online and offline retail becomes more prevalent, the appeal amid Australians to complete their Christmas shopping in actual stores is still strong again this year. Department stores are back, and they’re expected to be the most popular retail format for buying presents. The study reveals that the department store retail format will see an increase of 11% this year. A healthy percentage of 56% of those surveyed plans on spending their share of wallet at department stores. In contrast – based on last year’s findings – Australians’ intentions to shop at discount department stores for gifts is down by -20%.
4. STOCK UP ON GIFT CARDS
Gifting gift cards are on the rise again this Christmas. With one in two shoppers intending to purchase from this category (52%), gift cards or gift certificates remain the most popular gift this year. Rising 7% since 2016, these gift vouchers continue to gain momentum. In addition, retailers benefit from this gift card gifting phenomenon through their acquisition and redemption qualities. Since they take up very little real estate and draw people into the stores, they are the gift that keeps on giving. Meanwhile, toys, dolls, games, and DVD/Blu-ray movies (or CDs for music) have reported the greatest year-on-year decrease of -7%.
5. CRAFT SEAMLESS EXPERIENCES
Regardless of the channel used this Christmas, this season’s shopper wants uniformity. Whether the shopping interaction takes place via face to face, email, phone, or social media, customers are looking for consistent seamless experiences. Therefore, to get the most out of this vital trading period, craft your experiences with memorable and seamless encounters that your customers can’t receive from any other channel.
Click here to download Australian Christmas Shopping Intentions Infographic