Now more than ever, ‘Aussie Christmas’ can mean different things to different people. Meta’s Director of Retail, Kate Box, reveals how a powerful discovery engine and summer-friendly reach can help businesses sell more than one Christmas this year.
What does Christmas mean to you? Maybe it’s a well-earned holiday at the end of a busy year. Or cherished time with family. It might be great food and wine. The thing is, Christmas is more than just December 25th.
And our collective experiences differ greatly – it may be widely considered a joyous time, but Christmas can be challenging for many. YouGov research tells us that 3 in 4 people feel lonely over the holiday period¹, while 46% of people surveyed by McCrindle say Christmas can be a tough time for them².
That’s why today’s shoppers might not be that interested in the homogenous Christmas narrative that’s been sold to us historically, with one recent study revealing only 9% of Australians surveyed feel represented in the advertising they see³.
And that’s just the beginning. Meta’s recently commissioned Seasonal Holiday Study⁴ illuminates plenty more noteworthy trends for advertisers. So let’s explore what’s really motivating festive shoppers in the lead-up to Christmas.
Sell more than one Christmas through diverse storytelling
The Christmas season is an excellent opportunity to engage customers with a range of stories, experiences and creative approaches that reflect the unique holiday experiences we have.
Why is this important? Because there’s ample evidence that connecting with people across a range of experiences improves effectiveness. In fact, businesses that do so can be up to 139% more effective at driving awareness, consideration and association⁵.
An equally critical consideration for advertisers is the ongoing shift to online video viewing, which is particularly pronounced in the summer months when people spend more time out and about.
Video, especially short video, is increasingly consumed on mobile devices by people on the go. In fact, half of all time spent on Facebook and Instagram is spent watching video⁶. There’s now a great opportunity for businesses to power their holiday season sales by embracing the diverse brand storytelling opportunities video provides.
And with the rapid growth in online shopping, creators – highly valued for their diversity of expression – have an increasingly important role to play this holiday season. This is illustrated by Meta research, which reveals that 56% of shoppers surveyed consider creators to be for “people like me”⁷, while 32% of consumers feel more connected with brands that work with a diverse group of creators⁸.
The growing power of creators is a sure sign that today’s shoppers favour authenticity over slick and polished approaches. Increasingly they are motivating people to buy, with 45% of surveyed consumers saying they purchase on the first day of seeing creator content and 60% saying they would consider switching brands when a product is prompted by a creator they follow⁹.
Sell more than one Christmas by powering serendipitous discoveries
It’s abundantly clear there are economic headwinds blowing in Australia currently. Unsurprisingly, 65% of holiday shoppers surveyed by Meta agree that planning ahead financially this holiday season is more important than ever.
That’s why it’s crucial retailers seize their opportunity and put the right product in front of the right person at the right time.
There’s reason to be positive on this front though, as the seasonal sales period finds shoppers in a more curious state of mind, with 92% of year-end shoppers surveyed saying they are likely to try a new brand.
More consumers are also finding products via social platforms, with 61% of all year-end shoppers surveyed saying they enjoy discovering relevant items they had not actively looked for. In today’s retail landscape, the perfect gift is finding shoppers, before shoppers find it.
Retailers don’t need to leave it to chance either. AI is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to creating serendipitous moments and giving businesses a better chance of success.
Utilising the right AI-powered tools can help provide better product recommendations and drive sales. It’s one reason why Meta has built the most powerful discovery engine in history, generating demand for products and connecting the dots from discovery to transaction.
Consequently, Meta’s technologies now exceed search engines and store websites as the leading online channel of discovery for this time of year. As we enter the second half of the year, now is the perfect time to really lean into those who can help ratchet up your end-of-year offering.
The festive season means something different to everyone, so let’s stop selling one type of Christmas, and really embrace diversity. Retailers now have the opportunity to spread joy and excitement, while providing products that are as unique as people’s holiday plans. Businesses that really nail it can have every hope of reaping the rewards in the months ahead.
1 Telstra-commissioned research conducted by YouGov, Nov-Dec 2021
2 McCrindle Christmas Research 2021
3 Global Web Index, 16,942 Internet users in Australia, aged 16-64, Q1-Q4 2021
4 All statistics in this article, unless otherwise footnoted: Meta Seasonal Holidays Study by YouGov (Meta-commissioned online study of 1,524 people aged 18+ in Australia), from 1 Dec – 24 Dec 2021
5 Facebook internal Brand Lift Results. Aggregated across 7000 studies. Date range: January 2020 – June 2021. The analysis is based on descriptive methodology; the results are still significant when controlling for confounding variables. Region: EMEA. 54 Countries: GB (15%), FR (13%), IT (11%), DE (9%), ES (5%), remaining 49 countries (47%). 20 Verticals: Consumer Packaged Goods made up 39% of studies; Retail 19%; other verticals made up the remaining 42%.
6 Role of Creator Marketing by Crowd DNA (FB commissioned online survey of general population respondents ages 18-65 yrs in AUS, N=1,750). Qualified respondents shop online at least two times per month, have been influenced by creators when shopping in specific retail & CPG categories, and have recently purchased in that category.
7 Role of Creator Marketing by Crowd DNA (FB commissioned online survey of general population respondents ages 18-65 yrs in AUS, N=1,750). Qualified respondents shop online at least two times per month, have been influenced by creators when shopping in specific retail & CPG categories, and have recently purchased in that category.
8 Facebook commissioned research conducted by Kantar (online study of 15,003 people ages 18+ across US, GB, DE, KR, BR), Q4 2019).
9 Meta internal data, February 2022