Consumers share majority of seasonal gift ideas on dark social channels

Consumers share majority of seasonal gift ideas on dark social channels
Colm is the editor of MarketingTech, with a mission to bring the most important developments in technology to both businesses and consumers.

It’s getting to that time of year. While we’re not quite at the hanging up decorations and cracking out the seasonal jumper’s stage yet, many people are starting to think about what gifts they are going to be giving to their loved ones this holiday season.

With not only Christmas beginning to loom over the horizon, but also Black Friday coming up too, many marketers are ramping up their efforts to see the year out with a bang.

But how do consumers decide what they are going to give as gifts? Last year, advertising technology RadiumOne looked to uncover the Christmas shopping habits of consumers.

The figures contained in the report point towards the strong influence of ‘dark social’. 80% of those surveyed said that they share seasonal content, gift recommendations and gift requests through one-to-one email and direct messaging. Many brands are simply not able to get their hands on this data.

30% of consumers think that they share more content online over the holiday then they normally do throughout the year. However, 72% of this extra content is shared through dark social channels, compared to 22% going up on Facebook. The content shared vis dark social is usually a clear indicator of future purchases, with 50% sharing technology gift ideas and 33% sharing fashion gift ideas on dark social before they purchase them.

An extended season

The research also points to the continued, and growing, importance of Black Friday to the holiday season. In 2016, RadiumOne recorded a real spike in online transactions.

2016 Black Friday saw tech and jewellery online sales jump by 52% and 48% respectively when compared to the Christmas period. Sports and beauty purchases grew by a third. All of which indicates that the day is no longer considered a day to pick up cheap tech, and may now be a major source of Christmas shopping.

“Sharing behaviour is an indicator of consumer intent and the most likely moment they’ll interact with a brand. Our data shows that 61% of shoppers will also do a ‘big shop’ vs little and often,” Craig Tuck, RadiumOne’s UK managing director, commented.

“So, harnessing the planning and sharing period is key in influencing consumers’ final purchase, and tracking sharing dark social is imperative at any point, but more so during the Christmas period where there is more to gain.”

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