Aside from jokes about pub openings being like Christmas, Immediate Future’s latest research report reveals a spike in mentions of the season in the last three months.
The topic has been trending with over 525,000 mentions, as the public has expressed nostalgia and reminiscence during lockdown. But the desire for ‘me-gifts’ has increased also as people have been looking at affordable luxuries under the pretext of early Christmas presents.
Immediate future’s latest research report, called ‘HoHo Ho! Christmas is trending in July’, is based on Brandwatch's analysis of social data collected across the last three months, plus Facebook and Pinterest insight. It reveals a shift in behaviours that include very early planning for bigger-than-ever celebrations, concern over how money may impact festive shopping and a rise in first-time Christmas hosts shopping early.
“A mix of excitement, nostalgia and dreaming has the UK counting down to Christmas even though we’ve barely got through summer”, says Katy Howell, chief executive officer at social media agency, Immediate Future. “The rise in conversations is definitely driven by emotions. Disruption and feelings of deprivation are certainly drivers, but so too is a desire to plan ahead and manage budgets.”
Conversations have identified opportunities for brands wanting to get ahead of the festive shopping period, while first-time Christmas hosts are spending time researching everything from recipes to homemade décor. The research has also revealed that people are expecting lower funds for Christmas, which is why they are looking at purchasing gifts now and making lists to help spread out the costs.
Indicators also reveal that mega sales, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, are going to be a big focus this year for consumers looking to save. It means that most brands will need to plan longer campaign periods and begin early-bird offers much earlier.
Howell also advises: “Social chatter is shifting across topics and interests fast. People are moving from emotional to pragmatic. Swinging between luxury and savings, dreaming and purchasing, and so on. Brands need to be following the trends as they change and planning to be agile with social content to fit multiple scenarios.”
The report also looks beyond financial value to the issues that will also impact purchase such as sustainability, ethics and trust. Business will face a difficult Christmas this year but planning ahead will ensure the greatest opportunity to maximise sales and build a strong customer base into 2021.