Britain is world's most Christmas-focused country

Britons start Christmas earlier than any other nation, with internet festive searches picking up as early as August, new research has showed.

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Searches on Google begin to rise steeply at the end of October, just before Black Friday, and continue strongly into December, with searches ranging from seasonal jumpers and festive decorations to Christmas gift ideas and mince pie recipes.

Additionally, UK consumers are doing their Christmas shopping earlier than ever before, according to retail experts. But retailers can miss out on the big opportunity if they fail to engage their customers before the festive period, says relationship marketing platform Optimove.

Existing consumers are 19% more likely to make a second purchase with a brand during the Christmas season than shoppers who make their first purchase in the run up to Christmas, found the software company.

“The holiday season has become a discounter’s paradise, with retailers trying to bring in new spenders. But retailers need to adjust their strategies to focus on existing customers, and on retaining new customers before and after Christmas,” says Pini Yakuel, CEO of Optimove.

“Existing customers will only make 17 per cent more purchases with their favourite brands during the Christmas season than the rest of the year, with new customers making 50 per cent more.

“But if this extra 50 percent over Christmas doesn’t continue with your brand, you should focus on increasing that 17 percent in the months before Christmas, ensuring that these customers continue to return.”

Retailers should start to reach out to customers in August, and use data to find ways to provide value for each customer, thus ensuring they keep coming back.

“Key data can be used to divide the customer base into different groups and specific promotions and rewards can be targeted to different types of customer, depending on their personal taste and response. Finding the best suited offer will help to charm customers and keep them coming back.

“As for the shoppers that are acquired during Christmas, marketers should focus on turning them into repeat customers, with similarly targeted rewards throughout the rest of the year,” says Yakuel.

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