Borderless shopping in time for the holiday season

Posted on: Wednesday 12 September 2018 | Abi Jacks, Director of Marketing UK

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Both retailers and consumers alike now look globally when it comes to gift purchasing. In the run up to the holiday season, this growing trend of globalisation is something marketers will need to keep in mind for their Q4 plan. Armed with the correct insights on these holiday shoppers around the world, marketers will be able to tailor their strategies to capture the most lucrative audiences. 

Going Global  

Consumer research recently conducted by Rakuten Marketing uncovers the trends and international shopping behaviours of today’s holiday shoppers. Evidence of the appetite for products and gifts from overseas is clear. For example, Europe is currently the most popular choice for international customers, with 40% of shoppers looking to the continent for their holiday purchases. There is also a strong desire for US products, with 57% of Singapore-based shoppers looking to gift shop from retailers here. For brands wanting to reach these global markets, their marketing strategy must appeal to global needs. Cultural awareness of each different market, and sculpting the plan around these needs, is essential. 

 A perhaps obvious first step is to provide multi-lingual sites to increase trust. As well as this, there are key trends to follow in each region to ensure marketers are targeting the correct consumers. Each region spends differently per gift in terms of amount, on who, and for how many people. Chinese shoppers, as an example, spend 193% more than their British counterparts on average for partners. While most individuals around the world tend to holiday shop for 3 to 5 people, there are some nuances to be aware of. For example, 15% of US consumers shop for as many as 11 other people. This emphasises the importance of understanding who people are buying for and tailoring their experience accordingly, through onsite gift-buying guides for example.

The New Q4 Calendar  

The timeline for gift buying is changing. 48% of shoppers around the globe have already started their 2018 gift shopping, meaning targeting consumers for gift shopping needs to start sooner than Q4. In China specifically, as much as 80% of consumers have already started looking for gifts by July. These longer timelines suggest the importance of spreading ad spend throughout the year, rather than concentrating solely on November.

The variation in key dates depending on region are important for marketers to take note of, as these tend to be big shopping days for consumers around the world. 52% of Chinese consumers tend to capitalise on Amazon Prime Day, trying to get in early on the discounted items. The popular US shopping date of Black Friday is an occasion that continues to gain popularity in Europe with 24% of consumers in France and 26% in Germany making use of the deals. APAC also has its own holiday calendar, with days such as Singles’ Day and Australia’s Click Frenzy producing huge opportunity for global retailers. 

Understand the Trend and Take Action  

Once brands have awareness of the popularised trends in various global markets they will be able to create a tailored and fact-based marketing plan. This is of course easier said than done. Rakuten Marketing’s latest report ‘Guess Who… Unwrapping the Global Holiday Gift Shopper’ dives into the global shopping trends in eight markets across America, Europe, and APAC. By downloading this report, marketers will have the actionable insights necessary to capture their ideal consumers in these key markets. 

Written by

Abi Jacks, Director of Marketing UK

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