The Power of Out-of-Home (OOH): Christmas Countdown 2022
The festive season seems to start earlier and earlier each year. As soon as the door closes on Summer, and Halloween is out of the way, brands turn their attention to Christmas and begin fighting for consumer attention and securing that all-important space on consumers' shopping lists. October (23%) and November (22%) are key priming periods for early Christmas shoppers, even more so this year. With prices rising, our latest research suggests shoppers are moving their gift buying to earlier in the year, with many having already started (24%). This appetite to get going comes as no surprise given the current climate.
Consumer behaviours are ever-changing, and brands must keep up. To help with this we surveyed 250 respondents 16+ to get a glimpse of how the nation is feeling heading into the busiest quarter of the year.
With the cost of living rising, Christmas 2022 may be challenging for some, however, consumers are still craving acts of kindness and instances of connection. When looking at the differences between spending power this year versus last year, our research suggests that 73% of shoppers plan on spending more or the same this Christmas. With 26% citing that they have more disposable income than the previous year. Family is also a common theme this year with 35% citing that they will be spending more as they want to make this Christmas a special one for their family.
According to Kantar, Irish grocery sales were worth 3.1 billion during the 12 weeks to 26th December 2021. This year, our research suggests that the Irish public is geared up for a larger Christmas with 33% planning more family gatherings. More guests mean more food and 53% plan on trading up to a more premium retailer, with only 20% of shoppers staying loyal and sticking with their usual store.
For many, shopping for the Christmas season is all part of getting into the festive spirit. When looking at the in-store versus online shopping patterns we noticed a stark difference from last year. In 2021, 45% of shoppers were doing all their Christmas shopping online, this year that figure has decreased by 31% to 14%. With a further 38% of shoppers planning on doing a mix of in-store vs online. For those choosing to buy gifts in person, 47% are planning to visit shopping centres, 24% will visit the high-street, with 30% doing a mixture of both. This presents an opportunity for brands to capture consumer attention using the OOH channel.
Overall, the nation's mood seems to be an optimistic one, with 49% looking forward to a normal Christmas without restrictions and 26% excited to see family and friends. As the Christmas shopping season has begun, what can advertisers and brands do to make the most out of this time of year? Based on our findings, see below a few points to consider:
- Advanced planning: With shoppers actively seeking Christmas deals earlier than usual. Consider planning your Christmas campaigns ahead of time so your brand is top of mind for consumers.
- Despite inflation, spending power is still prevalent: Our findings suggest that despite inflation, the nation's mood seems to be optimistic, however, businesses need to be sensitive in their approach and adapt their strategies accordingly.
- Strong Community Connection: With friend and family gatherings being a common theme throughout our research results there is still that sense of importance in our local communities. So, although there are no movement restrictions in place brands should be making a conscious effort to reach these areas in their outdoor campaigns.
Methodology: Research was conducted by Spark Market Research, on a main urban sample of 250 respondents 16+ using an online methodology.