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Marketers can't rest in January

News, 05 January 2016

LONDON: Marketers should resist the temptation to see shopping in January as being primarily about retailers' sales, as new data highlights certain "tribes" with particular mindsets that offer a potentially lucrative opportunity.

eBay Advertising based its analysis on search data from January 2015 but said that the three groups it had identified – self-indulgent shoppers, long-haul listers and deferred purchasers – would again be in evidence this year.

"If brands can identify different shopper mindsets and use this understanding to be hyper-relevant, they're in a good position to start 2016 with a bang," stated Phuong Nguyen, head of eBay Advertising UK.

The first category, self-indulgent shoppers, represents people looking to give themselves a treat during a traditionally low-key month following the festive period. For example, eBay Advertising's data noted a sharp rise in searches for such things as diamond rings and champagne flutes during the first week of the year, The Drum reported.

For many people, January means starting to plan a summer holiday, but long-haul listers are not only researching possible destinations but also those items – beach towels, bikinis – they intend to take with them.

The third group, deferred purchasers, are the opposite of the first, as they eschew indulgence for practicality, most notably in the matter of white goods: searches for products such as washing machines jumped in January 2015.

"What this data shows is that there are several factors at work in New Year shopping – from wanting to splash out, to an urge to ship out of the country," Nguyen explained.

And he further argued that if brands can understand why consumers behave in a certain way, they can exploit this through "predictive targeting".

Linked to the need for marketers to be alert to the possibilities of the New Year is a degree of caution in the allocation of budgets.

There is wisdom in stretching these beyond a frenzy of pre-Christmas marketing to not only reach eBay's "tribes" but also those consumers who are for the first time powering up and getting acquainted with mobile devices received as gifts.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff