Brands ‘missing out’ by starting Christmas campaigns too late, suggests eBay

Brands could be losing out in the race to Christmas by not starting their online campaigns early enough to keep up with consumers, eBay Advertising’s Barometer suggests.

It was found that eBay recorded over 4 million searches using the term “Christmas” between June and August; although eBay is also suggesting that brands should continue their campaigns to cover those who leave shopping to the last minute and like to shop during the post-Christmas sales.

The research suggested that consumers like to research and compare prices for higher value presents like cars, cameras, computers and watches earlier; but advances in online shopping means that others like to wait longer – with eBay’s busiest shopping day in the UK shifting from 14 November in 2010 to 4 December in 2011.

Phuong Nguyen, UK head of eBay Advertising, said: “The Christmas browsing window is expanding; people are starting their Christmas browsing earlier in the year, but leaving it later and later to make purchases. Yet brands are missing out on this significant consumer touch point by starting their online Christmas campaigns too late and not running them right up to Christmas.

“The initial phase of “long-listing” is a particularly good opportunity for brands to engage customers in the Christmas shopping cycle. When consumers initially compare products and prices they tend to be less committed to one gift idea and have less brand loyalty, so they are often more receptive to relevant adverts.

“To capitalise on Christmas and secure the best share of wallet, brands need to fully align their campaigns with the way consumers are browsing and buying Christmas presents. This is changing with the growth of online retail and m-commerce, and advertisers need to adapt their campaigns accordingly. For most brands this means starting earlier in the year, maintaining the momentum post Christmas and tailoring ads to complement each stage of the Christmas shopping cycle.”

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