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Brands need to work harder to attract sales this Christmas, as majority of UK shoppers will spend less on gifts

Brands that rely on Christmas gifting sales will need to work harder than ever before to engage with shoppers this festive season, as new consumer research reveals that 86% of UK shoppers plan to be more cautious with their spending this year – and 70% will spend less on gifts because of ongoing economic uncertainty.

People across the country will shop later for gifts this year, though plan to do more research on what they buy. This includes paying more attention to customer reviews, TV coverage, media mentions and how brands optimise owned social media channels, according to the new research conducted by PR agency Kaizo.

In addition to this rise in caution, Kaizo found that 71% of shoppers feel their buying habits will be somewhat different to last year. The majority of Brits (78%) won’t start their Christmas shopping until at least the beginning of December, with more than a quarter (26%) expressing they are simply too concerned about the global pandemic to think about Christmas shopping.

Despite this, the findings also show that shoppers are likely to put more thought into their purchase decisions for Christmas shopping this year. More than half of adults across the country (51%) say they plan to do more research into the gifts they will buy.

When asked what will most likely sway their purchasing decisions this Christmas, specifically for consumer electronics gifts, positive Amazon reviews will be considered by two-thirds (66%) of Brits. 61% said they will be swayed if they saw product featured on a TV programme – which accounted for 83% for those aged over 65 years old – and positive reviews published on news website, or in newspapers or magazines will be crucial for almost half (48%).

In terms of social media; 30% will look to see how a product featured on a brand’s Facebook page, and 27% will be impacted by an influencer’s Instagram story. A mention on an influencer’s Instagram story will be valued by 65% of people aged 21 to 34 years old, whereas an endorsement on an influencer’s TikTok will influence more than a quarter (26%) of young people in the same age bracket. More than half (51%) of 35 to 54 years old will be using Facebook as part of their research process.

Kaizo’s research, based on a survey of 1,000 UK adults, also sought to explore what is important factors and qualities for shoppers when buying gifts this Christmas. Of this, the insights show that ‘value for money’ is essential for more than three quarters of UK shoppers (76%). The overall price of an item will be a deal breaker for 63% of Brits, while ‘quality and durability’ of products will be key for 60%.

Rhodri Harries, Managing Director of Kaizo, said: “Given the circumstances, it’s understandable that shoppers will make more considered purchases this Christmas. It’s clear that trust in the media will play a fundamental role in Christmas shopping purchase decisions, more so this year than ever before.”

“With Covid-19 making this a very cautious Christmas in so many ways, brands – especially those in the consumer electronics sector – will need to be more prominent than ever across media channels. This year more than ever, customers will be paying close attention to the ‘must have gifts’ featured in newspapers, TV programs, magazines, and showcased by influencers – and acting upon these recommendations.’

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