Surely not? Are we really talking about Christmas already?

It has been a crazy year. In most cases, not for the right reasons. What does Christmas 2021 hold in store for online retail?

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I spent Monday shivering like a whippet in a very damp, cold northerly wind in Nottingham. It definitely felt as though summer was over.

It was a rude shock to the system and one that I was not prepared for (shorts were most definitely not the right choice – I wished I had taken salopettes!). I found myself starting to think of cosy nights in front of the log burner with a nice glass of red wine.

It seems that I am not the only one starting to think of winter, as new research from eBay Ads UK suggests that a quarter of Brits have started their Christmas shopping already.

The research is interesting, well presented and most definitely worth a read.

There can be no denying that Christmas 2020 was a bit of a mess, or ‘muted and chaotic’ as described in the research, and I think we are all hoping for a more normal festive period this year. This is echoed in the research, which surveyed 2000 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas, as most respondents are anticipating a more ordinary festive season when compared to last year.

Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK at eBay, comments:

“After so much stress and disruption over the past year and a half, and last Christmas especially, it’s brilliant to see Brits are finally feeling more hopeful about this year’s festive celebrations – albeit cautiously. To make the most of the opportunity this presents, brands need to start engaging with customers early on to ensure they are front of mind when it’s time to purchase. And, taking into account ongoing uncertainty, brands should also look to tap into the mindsets of their customers to make sure they are interacting with them in meaningful and relevant ways – however they are feeling this Christmas.”

There is a lot of positivity in the report, which is extremely encouraging and a fantastic indicator that confidence is returning after such troubled times. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that this is indeed the case.

The report does, however, also highlight the fact that the past 18mths have been extremely difficult for many and that finances are under real pressure in many households, which will inevitably impact the Christmas spending spree.

I have a suspicion that most people will be craving normality and will ultimately value time with loved ones more than spending £s on pointless gifts. To be honest, I think that is a good thing and I don’t think that I am being overly nostalgic in craving a focus on quality time together as humans rather than an obsession with buying things online and letting Amazon do your wrapping.

I have no doubt, however, that online will continue to dominate and most retailers not ready to capitalise on this growth risks going the way of the dodo.

I hate to say it, but it really is time to start planning for Christmas 2021 if you are not doing so already. There are some sensible takeaways in the research, or get in touch with us if you need a helping hand.


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