Christmas sharing ‘hotspots’ are goldmine for retailers, says RadiumOne

For many, tomorrow’s John Lewis’ Christmas ad marks the start of the festive period and people sharing Christmas content. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg and retailers are missing out on a big opportunity to drive sales around what consumers share online.
Among the 72% of British adults (36.1 million) who’ll share Christmas-related content online, adverts are only the seventh most popular content, alongside present wish lists (30%). The most popular, by far, are festive pictures (65%) followed by videos (49%), present ideas (45%) and sales & promotions (43%).

Based on analysing 10 million shares of gift-related content, data-driven marketing technology business RadiumOne identifies four sharing spikes or ‘hotspots’ outside Black Friday and CyberMonday which retailers can tap into to fuel sales. These are the 11-12 and 18-19 November, and 3-4th and 18-19 December.

“The vast majority of purchases result from recommendations by friends and family people trust, so sharing behaviour is a hugely powerful retail signal at this time of year which marketers need to have built into their paid, owned and earned plans,” says Craig Tuck, RadiumOne’s managing director. “Sales and promotions and present ideas will each be shared by about 15.9 million people. This is a real-time trigger of consumer intent and the most likely moment they’ll interact with a brand at the most important retail period of the year.”

Electricals, clothing, gadgets and toys are the product ideas most likely to be shared. For all these, the vast majority of sharing happens in “Dark Social” channels (which can’t be measured via web analytics, such as email and instant messengers), from 78% in clothing to 94% in toys.

Mobiles have now overtaken laptops as the most popular device for sharing content online, being used by 41% of sharers.

Around 98 million pieces of Christmas-related content will be shared each day and the average sharer will do so with 11 people, so Tuck points out this gives retailers a “12-for-1 deal” as they can “join the dots” between sharers and recipients.

“Having the right tools in place to wrap, track and activate your Christmas content online is vital if you want to harness the power of this critical consumer signal,” says Tuck. “Data–driven insights gleaned from sharing enables retailers to successfully grow revenue in this hugely competitive period. For example, Boots tracked how their content was shared last Christmas to generate £10 in sales for every £1 spent on digital ads.”