EBay: ‘Focusing on January sales is too simplistic’

Retailers focusing January marketing on traditional value-messaging and sales are missing an opportunity to target shoppers looking to treat themselves after Christmas, according to a report by eBay Advertising.

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Brands and retailers should change advertising patterns and hold back some of their December spend until the new year to take advantage of what eBay calls “selfish shopping” in January.

There was a 345 per cent increase in searches for luxury items on Christmas Day, suggesting that the traditional January frugality after the excesses of Christmas spending, is not universal.

The traditional value-focused messaging usually employed in January is “too simplistic” for fast changing consumer behaviours, according to Phuong Nguyen, UK head of eBay Advertising.

He adds brands taking the traditional approach of weighting their ad spend in the first two weeks of December risk missing out on a significant share of sales.

EBay registered 6.9 million unique visits to its UK site on Christmas Day in 2012 with more than 525,000 purchases made, and 79 million visits between 24 and 31 December.

Nguyen says: “Now that we have smartphones and tablets in our hands all the time, the consumer mindset is shifting even more quickly. January isn’t just about sale shopping anymore.”

“Our data shows that increasingly these consumers are seeking premium products as a post-Christmas treat, which calls into question the effectiveness of ubiquitous price-driven campaigns and ‘value’ messaging. Retailers require a more nuanced approach to January advertising.”

While the insights are based on eBay’s own data, Nguyen believes that the shift is reflective of the wider retail industry.

The insights are part of eBay’s first monthly retail barometer, launched in an effort to share its insights with advertisers and brands.

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