Each week we ask our trusted Insights panel of parents a key question. This week we were interested in finding out at what time of year they typically begin making purchases for the Christmas season. Christmas may fall in just one month of the year but planning can sometimes start months in advance, as we found in the results of our poll.

Take a quick read of this week’s bite-sized insights to find out what parents told us:

Would you like business-transforming insights for your brand? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help.

Recommended reading: What Parents Told Us About Home Retail

We asked our Insights panel of parents when they usually start buying for the Christmas season and discovered the following insights:

  • The idea that some start their Christmas shopping as early as possible (i.e. picking stuff up in the January sales for the following Christmas) proved false with our panel, as no parents claimed to start their buying for the next year as soon as Christmas ends.
  • About a third of our respondents cite no particular time to start their Christmas buying, choosing to pick up bits throughout the whole year.
  • January through to July are dead months for designated Christmas shopping with parents, as again no one chose these months.
  • A minority of parents (6.6%) start buying for Christmas at the end of the summer but for the bulk of our panel, Christmas shopping doesn’t start in earnest until the autumn…
  • Most dedicated Christmas buying according to our parents panel is done over September (26.6%), October (24.4%) and November (20%).
  • A few stragglers (6.6%) leave their Christmas purchasing decisions until December.

christmas planning

Any further thoughts on Christmas shopping planning?

Comments from our panel members included:

“I can’t plan too much as kids change their minds or grow too quickly!”

“From September onwards I am thinking of gift ideas.”

Whenever I see a gift that a family member would like I buy it or if I see a special offer on something.”

“I start making lists after summer or earlier if I see something or know what kids are getting. Will start buying if I know what the kids want and know they won’t change their minds. Will order from Ali express in August or September to be in time for Christmas.”

“I always plan to start early in the year but never do”

“I would do the bulk of my Christmas shopping in November all mostly online but hoping now that shops are reopening to put more bits by as I go.”

“I save throughout the year for Christmas as they ask for a random surprise gift from Santa and all the smaller gifts are picked up throughout the year when there are sales etc.”

“If buying locally or handmade you need to give more time for them to arrive to allow small businesses to make/pack them. Local promotion pages tend to leave virtual markets and shoutouts until December, whereas if we want to fully support local for Christmas, we should be hearing about those businesses and sellers from September.”

“I really like picking up bits & pieces for Christmas during the year, however I have started tracking these on a list as it’s easy to forget what you already have!”

“I start picking up bits after the back to school stuff is all taken care of and when I have a good idea of what the kids will be looking for.”

“Try get it started early, just leave a few small bits until the end.”

Actionable Insights for Christmas Gift Retailers

  • One of the reasons that parents cited for not doing their Christmas planning earlier is the changeability of their kids’ minds when it comes to the type of gifts they want. Businesses could reach out to parents via social media to help with this problem. For example, perhaps run polls to find out the forerunners for most anticipated kids’ toy for that Christmas.
  • As one parent noted above, small businesses selling bespoke gifts should start their push for Christmas commissions early to make sure that parents are aware of product arrival times etc. Parents are eager to support smaller businesses, but they need the appropriate time needed to avoid disappointment.
  • Lots of parents are doing more of their Christmas shopping these days. Businesses could offer part-payment services a few months in advance to help attract customers making bigger ticket gift purchases to spread the cost.

Would you like business-transforming insights from parents for your business? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence consumers to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.