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Online retailers didn’t stop receiving visits generated by Christmas keywords – even after the holiday season died down for traditional high street retailers.

-In 2014 and 2015, online “Christmas” traffic didn’t see the same post-holiday drop off of previous years
-Search Trend data suggests that Christmas shopping continues all year round
-Retail data suggests that the globalisation of the market place, and Christmas celebrations at different times of year are partly responsible
-Supply chain and retailers adapt to meet the demand by pushing Christmas stock earlier

The “Christmas Creep” trend has been well documented, on and offline in the past. For those not familiar with the premise of the “Creep”, the thought of hearing Christmas songs played over shopping centre Tannoys in August, advent calendars for sale in September, and Christmas decorations out in October should give you an idea of what we’re referring to – that Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier every year.

Whilst data from 2011 – 2013 suggests that the end of July has become the start of the Christmas shopping period online, gift retailers like Qwerkity.com have continued to receive Christmas-related traffic throughout January, and for the rest of the year – and this has been the case since 2014.

Qwerkity, in a bid to understand this, have analysed the data their site collects – and cross referenced this with publically accessible data directly from search engine giant, Google.

So what’s changed in the last two years that has killed off the creep and plunged us into an all-year-round Christmas shopping spree?

“There are several factors we’ve picked up on” says Michael Dewhurst, Head of Marketing at Qwerkity.

“Firstly, globalisation. Developments in the functionalities of search engines have allowed our site to achieve greater visibility in foreign territories.”

A +10% Y-O-Y increase in traffic from the African continent is tapping into the 380+ Million African Christians who celebrate Christmas at slightly different times of the year. But it’s not just Africa, a 200% increase in visits from the USA, and a 40% increase in traffic from India has all played a part too.

Searches from these locations, including Australia, appear to coincide with the mid-year Christmas celebrations. Christmas in July is often celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere, where seasons are reversed, as the dream of a “White Christmas” in December is almost certainly an impossibility. Shopping habits, and therefore retail marketing have adjusted accordingly to allow the public to buy stress-free online in the run up to July.

Next, the marketing industry in the UK is also partly to blame. As suppliers are pushing their Christmas stock to retailers earlier and earlier, retailers are under pressure to announce their best seller predictions earlier still – and kick off the marketing buzz they need in the run up to Christmas, whilst ensuring that stock levels of must have items are at an optimal level to meet consumer demand. To help support this assumption, we also looked at retailers like Argos, and discovered that they released their best sellers for this Christmas in the penultimate week of June, as opposed to mid-July the year before.

Finally, the economic climate in the UK has seen the average household re-prioritise their budgets. An affordable Christmas is no longer guaranteed, and this means shopping for gifts as and when money allows – which is likely to be outside the normal gift-buying season – is a far more sensible option in tougher times.
To see the trend data, and Qwerkity’s original write up, please click here.

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For more information, quotes and images, please contact:

James Newhouse
01525 715520
jnewhouse@receptional.com

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