The most celebrated holiday of the year is ahead, and eBay sellers all over the world are getting ready for the sales boost that always accompanies Christmas. However, to make the most out of the holiday season, one needs to understand their buyers’ mindset and the current spending trends. Here’re useful insights you can use in the upcoming months.
Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Eve are the key dates of the peak season. This period is traditionally associated with big discounts and skyrocketing sales.
The recent surveys show that the festive spirit is still alive despite economic pressures, inflation and the rising cost of living. Consumers adjust their spending habits to offset the increasing prices: they cut down non-essential expenses to save money for gift-giving and socializing . In the months before the holiday season, many people skimp on eating out, streaming services and clothes . But after all this austerity, they will be ready to splurge! Both in the US and in Europe, young people that belong to Gen Z have the strongest intent to splash out .
So, according to Deloitte  and PwC  statistics for the Christmas season last year:
86%of shoppers expect more holiday deals
72%worry about affordability of gifts
56%will continue hunting for deals after Christmas
74%plan to spend the same as in previous year or more this holiday season
Consider key trends in consumer behavior when building your inventory and developing promotional strategies for the Christmas season:
- Buyers are trading down looking for savings
- Despite being cost-conscious, buyers tend to splurge in certain areas
- Many are willing to try new or smaller brands (especially millennials and Gen Z buyers)
- A large share of buyers prefer environmentally friendly products
To find out more about these trends, please read our article on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It’s important to remember that different age groups have different approaches to pre-Christmas spending. If you understand how and why they’re using ‘holiday money’, you’ll be better able to appeal to them in your item descriptions and ad campaigns.
Millennials (35-44) have the biggest spend potential among eBay buyers. Their main priority is to shop for others rather than for themselves. Members of this group buy lots of gifts, host Christmas parties and dinners, plan holiday activities in the majority of households. Only 15% of millennials use their holiday spend to buy their own apparel and accessories .
Want to understand your target audience better? Please read our article on this topic.
Appealing to millennials is a surefire approach. Since they celebrate Christmas so actively, maximize festive vibes for them! Customize your eBay store using seasonal banners and pictures, add item photos with Christmas-themed backgrounds and decor. Announce holiday sales, offer gift wraps and volume discounts. Add gift recommendations to your listings’ titles and descriptions: “Christmas gift for her”, “Christmas gift for kids”, etc. Learn more about peak season tools in the dedicated article.
Trending categories before Christmas
In December, these product groups are likely to be on the peak of popularity according to eBay’s analytical data:
- Hoodies and sweatshirts (+60% as compared to the average demand)
- Blankets and throws (+80)
- String lights (+190%)
- Remote controlled toys (+70%)
- Headphones (+50%)
- Video games (+50%)
What people are looking for
The approach to gift-giving has shifted from extravagance to meaning. In the UK, about two thirds (64%) of those surveyed claim that thoughtful gifts bring more joy than expensive ones .
- Something to keep you warm
In general, colder temperatures before Christmas make people think about warm and cozy gifts: heated blankets, warm clothes, fuzzy throws, thermal flasks, and such. It’s especially true for European countries where energy bills are growing relentlessly. For example, 37% of consumers in the UK plan to buy items that will help them get through longer periods without heating .
- Something for spending time at home
In the attempt to save money, consumers are more likely to socialize at home instead of eating out or going to a recreational venue. In the UK, 36% of those surveyed say they will meet with their friends at home, and about half of respondents are going to dine at home more . Which means they need homeware items for hosting holiday dinners and parties: wine glasses, dinner sets, utensils, tablecloths, etc. These items always show a spike in interest before Christmas.
- Pre-loved or refurbished items
Two powerful trends of the recent years (economy and environmental concerns) have resulted in the growing demand for pre-loved, vintage, or refurbished items. It’s especially true for consumer electronics: 58% of eBay buyers are likely to shop in “Consumer Electronics: used, open box” category .
- Something for holiday travels
For example, in the UK one in five consumers plan to have a Christmas getaway . Some of them are going to visit friends or relatives, others head to warmer countries or winter destinations. In any case, they will need items for traveling such as suitcases, neck pillows, travel kits and such. And, of course, they will purchase clothes and items for their vacation: be that cold clothes and footwear or bikinis and sunscreen.
Opportunities for homeware sellers
In Europe, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can benefit from the transition of homeware and decor shopping to e-commerce. In the UK and Germany, which are generally representative of general EU trends, over 50% of shoppers make most of their purchases in this category via online channels .
European shoppers make 2-3 times more purchases of smaller home decor right before Christmas .
eBay sellers can attract environmental-conscious buyers by providing sustainable alternatives to mainstream products by large retailers. 65% of German and British buyers say that they consider sustainability important or very important for their purchase decisions . Artisans and vintage sellers on eBay can satisfy the demand for unique, one-of-a-kind items.
Who is shopping for homeware:
- Craft-inspired buyers that value high quality and aren’t too thrifty
- Those who seek creativity and unique style
- Environment-conscious shoppers who seek refurbished or upcycled products
- Price sensitive customers who shop for DIY projects
To benefit from the growing demand for unique and sustainable homeware in Europe, list your items on eBay regional sites: ebay.co.uk, ebay.de, ebay.fr, ebay.es, ebay.it and others. The free eBaymag tool will help you easily import and create listings on eight regional sites. All the information in the listings will be automatically translated in the corresponding languages.
If you are thinking about expanding or updating your eBay inventory, the Christmas season is probably the best time for it. Try selling items from the homeware category to benefit from the increasing demand.
Now, with all this knowledge about buyer sentiment, buyer behavior trends and trending gifts for this Christmas, you are ready to get down to business. Our next article is about practical tools that will help you plan an effective marketing strategy, optimize your listings, and sell more during the peak season.
- “2022 Deloitte holiday survey”. Deloitte Insights. Deloitte.www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/retail-distribution/holiday-retail-sales-consumer-survey.html#retail-key-findings. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- “Millennials dominate spending amid uncertain economic outlook”. PwC: audit and assurance, consulting and tax services. PwC. www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/consumer-markets/library/2022-holiday-outlook-trends.html. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- Moulton J. et al. High hopes despite high prices: An update on European consumer sentiment. McKinsey & Company. www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/high-hopes-despite-high-prices-an-update-on-european-consumer-sentiment. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- Deloitte Holiday Quick Take January 2023. Deloitte. www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/us-2022-holiday-quick-take-jan2023.pdf. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- 2023 eBay Ads Holiday Guide. eBay, Inc. go.ebayadvertising.com/2023eBayAdsHolidayGuide. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- Gupta U. How retailers can respond to evolving consumer behaviour this winter. eBay Ads. eBay, Inc. www.ebayads.com/2022/12/09/how-retailers-can-respond-to-evolving-consumer-behaviour-this-winter/. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- Peak season spend trends 2023. eBay, Inc. www.ebayads.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/ebay_ads_christmas_2023_F-1.pdf. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
- Hajro N. et al. Growth sprouts for SMEs in e-commerce. McKinsey & Company. www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/growth-sprouts-for-smes-in-e-commerce. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.