The 12 Ways of Christmas (Marketing Stats Edition)

We all know that sales increase on the run up to Christmas, but what makes people choose one business over another?

We all know that sales increase on the run up to Christmas, but what makes people choose one business over another? If you’re looking to find out a few festive facts, read our 12 marketing statistics below!

1. The Growth of Online Shopping

According to Statista, within the UK, we spend more over Christmas in stores than we do online – approximately £38.2 billion compared to £35.26 billion. But the numbers are getting ever closer – people are shopping more and more online. The 2020 lockdown certainly contributed towards this, but many people simply find the online market more convenient. 

What this means for marketers is that you need to start putting more focus into your website, ensuring that your customer base can find you! Try to capitalise on high volumes of search traffic with marketing techniques like PPC and SEO. The former in particular is important over the festive season, as you need to rank highly when the competition gets more fierce. 

Marketing Stats

2. Reviews are Important

Data from Qualtrics shows that 93% of customers will read online reviews before buying a product. So if your site doesn’t have the option to leave a review, perhaps you should consider adding that functionality. At the very least, you need to build up a bank of positive reviews – this could be through an independent review site, your own website, or Google shopping. You’re far more likely to increase sales if other people are endorsing your products. 

There are a number of ways in which you can encourage customers to leave reviews, if you don’t have a huge amount already. Simple things like asking for a review after delivery – when the customer is happy that their product arrived as advertised – can be incredibly effective. And if you want to get a lot of reviews quickly, it’s a good idea to set up a prize draw, making the entry requirement leaving a review. 

3. Content is the Future

Over the festive season, it’s essential to get your brand out there, and produce a lot of engaging content. Did you know that 78% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) believe that custom content is the future of marketing? If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be crafting tailored content for your audience. 

Think about your target demographic, and research what sort of content and medium they’re most drawn to. For instance, video tends to be incredibly popular with younger audiences, so you may need to consider creating videos, or even animations. And over Christmas, there are loads of topics and themes to choose from, such as classic stories and heartwarming content. 

4. An Expanding Market

For the most part, Christmas sales in the UK are increasing year on year – lockdown did reduce overall sales in 2020, but the figures are still high. While this sounds like a positive thing for retail businesses, it’s important to bear in mind that new companies are constantly joining the market, and the competition remains high. 

Just because sales increase towards the end of the year, that doesn’t mean you can get complacent. December should be your biggest month in terms of marketing campaigns.

optimise for mobile

5. Optimise For Mobile

According to Think With Google, 78% of holiday shoppers who planned to visit a store used mobile search before actually going inside. This may be to look at online reviews, which we’ve discussed above, or it could simply be to look at what products are on offer. Whatever the reason, it’s essential that you optimise your site for mobile. 

Mobile optimisation also has the additional benefit of improving user experience, which in turn can boost your SEO. Google has started to focus more on user experience in recent years, and making your site user friendly can increase your rankings. 

6. Don’t Neglect Social Media

UGC platform Bazaarvoice conducted a survey which showed that almost half of Gen Z (18-24 year olds) use social media platforms like Instagram to generate ideas for Christmas presents. So if you’re not posting on social media, now is definitely the time to start! Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are particularly good to focus on in the run up to Christmas, as ‘pictures tell a thousand words’ – imagery is typically the best way to market your products.  

Social media in general can be a great way to connect with your audience. It’s a way to make your brand feel more human – you can interact with your followers on an individual basis, and make them feel like they’re connected to the business. 

7. Focus on Sustainability 

A large percentage of people are buying sustainable gifts at Christmas. This is especially true of Gen Z, with around 65% of consumers focusing on sustainability when doing their Christmas shopping. And this won’t necessarily just be about the products themselves – there’s also a higher demand for sustainable packaging.

It might not be feasible for you to make your entire organisation more sustainable, at least not straight away. But you may be able to be more environmentally conscious about your packaging, or other smaller areas of your business. And if you do focus on sustainability, make sure you’re advertising it!

8. Start Early

Statistics from Yesmail Interactive show that almost 70% of people start their Christmas shopping before December, and around 38% of consumers will have started before November. So make sure you capitalise on this – start offering festive deals a few months early, and begin your holiday campaigns as soon as reasonably possible. 

Early shoppers also means that you should start your PPC campaigns, with Christmas related keywords, earlier. Bidding will be cheaper before December hits, and you’ll still be reaching a large target market. 

start early

9. The Rise of Voice Search

Voice search is considered to be one of the fastest growing ecommerce trends. Around 71% of people prefer to use voice search rather than typing out their query. Most of these searches are conducted on mobile devices – more than a quarter of the online global population use the voice search feature on their mobile devices. 

All of this means that you may need to start considering your voice search strategy. While a lot of the techniques are similar to normal search engine optimisation, there are some differences. You need to think about conversational and semantic keywords, rather than just the sort of words that would be entered into a search bar. 

10. Offer Free Shipping 

People tend to prefer free shipping over fast shipping, according to the annual State of Shipping in Ecommerce report from shipping platform Temando. 86% of UK shoppers would prefer free shipping, most of whom would order more online if this was offered. 

While it may seem a bit odd that people are willing to spend hundreds of pounds online for Christmas presents, but balk at a delivery fee, it’s a global phenomenon. We simply don’t like to pay for shipping. So if possible, offer your customers free delivery over the holidays. 

11. Personalise Your Emails

Using a personalised subject line for an email means that it’s 26% more likely to be opened. Not to mention the fact that 74% of marketers believe that targeted personalisation increases customer engagement and loyalty. And yet, a lot of companies don’t put a lot of thought into their email subject lines, or segmenting their audience to tailor the content. 

Even if a business doesn’t do a lot of email marketing, they probably will over Christmas. So with stiff competition, you need to pull out all the stops. Make sure you personalise your emails, ensuring you get the best engagement rate, and hopefully higher sales figures. 

12. Building a Strong Strategy 

It’s been estimated that Google sees around 63,000 search queries per second. That’s approximately 5.6 billion searches a day, and around 2 trillion searches a year. As a marketer, you therefore can’t afford to disregard search engine optimisation any time of the year, but especially during the festive period. 

You need to have a strong strategy in place, to ensure that you’re not missing out on any marketing opportunities. Having a plan also means that you’re all working towards the same goals, and have clear objectives and timeframes. So once the festivities have died down a bit, it’s probably time to start thinking about your strategy for the coming year!