Business development 15 December 2016

How to capture those last-minute Christmas shoppers

Christmas shopping
The millennial generation are reportedly the most well-prepared when it comes to Christmas shopping

Writing for Business Advice, Luke Griffiths, UK general manager of ecommerce payment platform Klarna, advises small business owners on how to reach the Christmas shoppers who leave festive shopping to the last minute.

With just under two weeks to go until Christmas, Klarna has released new research revealing that there are still lucrative opportunities for merchants to snap-up a chunk of the nation’s festive spend.

Two in five Brits admit they won’t finish their festive shopping until a week or less before the big day, compared to 30 per cent that finish with at least three weeks to spare – making next week key for festive retail sales.

Half of 45 to 54 year olds leave their shopping to the last week, compared to 40 per cent of well-prepared millennials who have it wrapped up with three weeks to go.

With this in mind, there is still plenty of opportunity for retailers to capitalise on Christmas spending, particularly online, by appealing to these last-minute Christmas shoppers with targeted offers. Here are some insights from our research that can help merchants do this.

Convenience is king for Christmas shoppers

It’s no surprise that convenience is a top priority for last-minute Christmas shoppers. Almost two-thirds of last-minute Christmas shoppers will visit stores during weekends and 56 per cent shop online during evenings, compared to just 40 per cent and 42 per cent of early buyers.

Those last-minute Christmas shoppers looking online are more likely to make impulse buys and are less likely to stick to a planned list, meaning this is prime time for retailers to reach shoppers with targeted offers and festive inspiration.

Gifts and groceries

Gifts are at the top of the list for those leaving their shopping to the eleventh hour. Almost 40 per cent of their festive spend goes on presents, followed by 20 per cent on Christmas groceries and a lot less on everything else – including decorations, outfits and going out.

Fashion items are the gift of choice for last-minute shoppers, with 40 per cent choosing to buy clothes and shoes as presents. These eleventh hour Christmas shoppers are also more likely than early birds to give beauty products, stocking fillers and money as gifts

Seamless Christmas shopping

Last-minute Christmas shoppers are more likely to shop with a merchant if the checkout experience is quick and easy, if there are last minute delivery options and if the merchant has an easy to navigate mobile site .

Also, the data shows that giving shoppers flexible payment options – such as allowing them to stagger payments, interest-free, or pay after delivery – could help boost sales and conversion rates.

Both early bird and last-minute Christmas shoppers agree that they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that offered these payment options and more likely to increase the size of their shopping baskets – delivering a potential total uplift in sales for UK merchants of up to £2.3bn.

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