Holiday shopping may have begun earlier than the average marketer anticipated. Waiting until Q4 to target holiday shoppers can lead to detrimental results for retailers and brands. As uncovered by Rakuten Marketing’s latest report – Guess Who… Unwrapping The Global Holiday Gift Shopper’ – the reality is that almost half (48%) of shoppers have started buying their holiday presents as early as July, both in the UK and on a global scale. This newfound trend is an exciting opportunity for brands looking to reach new markets. 

Heading to PI Live in October? Don’t miss our Retail Workshop – Revamp Your Peak Campaigns to Entice Global Consumers – to learn more about how to attract and engage the global holiday shopper this Q4. Register now

A look into global shoppers

In terms of how many gifts they purchase, when they purchase and how much they spend, no two shoppers are the same – especially when looking across the globe. However, there are region-specific trends that can be identified to help retailers, brands and marketers shape their plans and provide a more valuable experience for their consumers.

Investigating how many people shoppers are buying gifts for gives marketers insight into their target consumers’ shopping behaviours, enabling them to target appropriately. As a region, APAC differs greatly in this respect. In Australia, for example, 15% of shoppers are looking to buy gifts for over 11 people whereas in Singapore and Korea 45% are looking to buy for two or fewer. US holidays shoppers are like those in Australia, again with 15% looking to buy gifts for over 11 people. Germany and France more commonly purchase gifts for just three to five people (43%). 

These facts are interesting when also looking at the average spend in each region, allowing retailers to see just where their marketing efforts will be most profitable. APAC and the US tend to spend the most on holiday shopping. APAC as a market spends an average of £280 on their parents, a contrast to the UK which only spends £88. The region that spends the most on their children in the US at an average of £252. Shoppers in Europe and the UK are more conservative with their spend during this peak time. The UK can spend as little as £57 on a friend with Europe spending £91. Knowing this information allows marketers to understand which markets to target with bigger ticket items.

The best time to holiday shop 

The differing peak holidays in each region are also important to note, as those are often lucrative times for retailers and it’s imperative to prepare in advance with a strategic marketing plan.

Christmas in August seems to be a popular trend these days, but are holiday shoppers really starting that early? As with all the insights uncovered so far, it’s vital to understand regional nuances. In China specifically, 50% of shoppers begin holiday shopping as soon as Boxing Day sales begin for the following holiday season. However, the most popular shopper in France (33%) is the winter shopper, only beginning holiday shopping once Halloween and Bonfire Night have commenced. Meanwhile, the UK and US have similar shopping trends as each other, with 21% of shoppers looking for bargains, regardless of the time of year. The trends show that shopping styles do differ across markets, but there is still a strong push for early holiday shopping which retailers need to prepare for. 

Use key insights to engage 

Given the necessary insights, marketers have the power to adapt their strategies for a successful holiday season. Each market varies in behaviours, needs, and preferences. Retailers and brands that tailor their digital marketing mix per region will find their strategies to be most successful. Brands that have not previously integrated into foreign markets may find this coming holiday season to be the perfect time to do so. The first step is to gain trust amongst consumers, which can be achieved by homing in on local behaviours. 

A useful tool for retailers and brands is Rakuten Marketing’s latest report ‘Guess Who… Unwrapping The Global Holiday Gift Shopper’ – a guide to reaching global consumers for peak season. This report holds key insights and actionable strategies for retailers to adapt to capture the perfect consumer. Once retailers have the correct insights in key regions they will have the tools needed to create a successful marketing plan.

Keen to learn more about the global holiday gift shopper and how to make the most of your Q4 this year? Sign up for our interactive Retail Workshop at this year’s PI Live for actionable tips for successful peak campaigns from Rakuten Marketing experts and your retail peers. Register your interest here.


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