As retailers plot their Christmas ads, consumers turn to Amazon and Instagram for gifts

By John Glenday | Reporter

September 11, 2020 | 4 min read

Christmas is looking like a frugal affair for many with 44% of consumers citing the Covid-19 pandemic as having impacted their spending plans, with cost (35%) and value (34%) being top of the tree for this year's must-have gifts.

The survey of 2,000 adults conducted by UGC platform Bazaarvoice indicates that the chief beneficiaries of this savvy spending shift look set to be Amazon and Instagram with 49% of cash-strapped shoppers now purchasing online more often than they were pre-pandemic (rising to 58% in the UK).

What’s most likely to influence consumers this Christmas

  • 7% of Brits were found to favour detailed reviews over broad stroke product ratings, in sharp contrast to their cousins in the US and France where 17% stick to the headline rating.

    Christmas forecast

    As retailers plot their Christmas ads, consumers turn to Amazon and Instagram for gifts

  • Over a third (36%) of UK consumers state that they will decide between two products based on price, followed by 31% favouring product reviews.

  • Amazon is set to become the go-to retail platform of choice this holiday season with 57% of Britons searching for gift ideas and 74% plotting purchases from the all-encompassing platform.

  • Younger consumers are more likely to venture off the beaten track with 46% of 18-24-year-olds (gen Z) citing Instagram as the most important ideas platform.

  • No-one can top Facebook as the most influential platform for gift buying however, with 21% flocking to the blue banner, ahead of Instagram and Pinterest on 19 and 11% respectively.

  • Suzin Wold, SVP Marketing, Bazaarvoice, said: “... where brands and retailers can win is by delivering a fantastic consumer experience and different value."

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  • Wold points out that younger generations identify with brands more personally and heavily rely on social media for purchasing decisions, pointing to the importance of "storytelling, visuals and authentic influencers" to drive engagement.

  • Wold concluded: "Social media should be used to create a more unique shopping experience for brands and retailers to set themselves apart from Amazon.”

What will Christmas look like for brands this year?

  • Boots has given an early indication of where brands are heading with a concession that this year is like "no other".

  • Blockbuster Christmas ads will be among the first casualties with 63% of respondents stating that brands should eschew ostentatious displays of festive largesse in favour of a more frugal approach.

  • Aoife McGuinness, a neuroscience consultant at HeyHuman, told The Drum why post-lockdown planning will be crucial for marketers to get inside customers’ heads.


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