UK brands and retailers should be ready for a surge in spending from Monday 29 March as lockdown lifting marks the start of a season of shopping for consumers – with interest in going out garments and holiday accessories set to soar amongst the old and the young.
According to new consumer research carried out by eBay Ads UK, 20% of consumers have more disposable income compared to pre-pandemic and 69% already have a priority purchase in mind for when lockdown lifts – demonstrating a need for brands to ensure they’re engaging customers with the most relevant content well ahead of key lifting dates if they’re to win their share of spend.
Clothing is set to be a key purchase for many consumers, with the research finding that one in five respondents (22%) plan on buying new clothes as a priority once lockdown lifts.
Supporting analysis of shopper behaviour on ebay.co.uk carried out by eBay Ads UK indicates that ‘going out’ outfits will be the key focus for consumers as they ditch their joggers for new night-out clothes before pub gardens open this April.
On 27th June 2020, a week before UK pubs reopened following the first lockdown, searches for ‘skinny jeans’ on the site jumped 47% compared to the day before, while searches for ’hoop earrings’ and ‘fake eyelashes’ increased by 27% and 24% respectively in the same timeframe.
Older generations ready to hit pubs and beaches
The research also reveals that older shoppers are just as keen to go out as the young, so brands should ensure they’re engaging with a wide spectrum of people readying to party. While just over a quarter (26%) of 16-24-year-olds say they are most excited to go to a pub, bar or nightclub when the current lockdown lifts, this excitement is closely followed by that of the 55+ age group, with 23% reporting that this too would be their priority.
Insights from eBay Ads UK also demonstrate that older generations were some of those most keenly prepping for a night out as lockdown lifted last year. On 27th June 2020, a week before pubs and bars first reopened, searches on ebay.co.uk for ‘high heels’ made by shoppers aged 55 and above surged 53% overnight, compared to a 29% uplift for shoppers aged 18-34. Meanwhile searches for ‘clutch bag’ made by shoppers aged 55 and over rose 55%, compared to a 53% increase amongst 18-34-year-olds.
Many UK consumers (38%) are also chomping at the bit for a holiday, coming second only to the excitement of seeing friends and family (40%). Once again older consumers lead the way, with 43% of consumers aged 55 and over saying they were most excited to go on holiday when lockdown ends, compared to 30% of 16-24-year-olds.
However, when it comes to preparing for trips away, the research found that the youngest generations are most likely to purchase holiday clothes and essentials. 21% of 16-24-year-olds and 18% of 25-34-year-olds surveyed say they are planning on purchasing holiday clothes as a priority when lockdown ends, compared to just 9% of those aged 55 and over.
Meanwhile 12% of 16-24-year-olds are planning on buying holiday essentials, such as suitcases, compared to 3% of those aged 55 and over.
With shopper insights from eBay Ads also finding that searches in the ‘holidays and travel’ category on the site shot up 75% as travel corridors opened up in July 2020, it’s clear brands should be well prepared to cater to a boom in travel interest once restrictions lift.
Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK at eBay, comments: “We know that Brits are itching to start living their lives to the fullest as lockdown restrictions lift, and these insights demonstrate that brands need to ensure they’re engaging excited consumers with relevant products and content in advance of key moments – whether they want to go out on the town or go on holiday. But to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward, brands mustn’t forget to keep an open mind and tap into the freshest data to ensure they’re engaging with audiences that might be less predictable, but just as important. For instance, with the older generation on track to receive their first and second Covid-19 vaccinations within the coming weeks, brands would be wise to ensure they are not overlooking this important demographic longing to make the most of their newfound freedom.”