Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Ecommerce experts extract unexpected post-covid Bank Holiday spending patterns

New research has found a newly-discovered ecommerce spending trend that shows a revenue increase for the fashion, telecoms and alcohol industries by 205%. 

Ecommerce strategists have previously highlighted the British and American bank holidays as a potential peak in sales; but new data discovered by Ecrubox suggests that, at least in the post-Covid economy, the true peak in digital consumer spending appears between 48 and 72 hours AFTER a public break. And retailers expecting an uptake in sales during the bank holiday will be disappointed by less than stellar results if they continue without change.  

Ordinarily, bank holidays were considered an incredibly popular time for consumer spending and up until 2020, that might have gone unchallenged. Today, data informs us that like almost everything else in the world, economics has shifted. Already highly tuned to an ever-digital existence and lockdown provisioning, consumers are turning off the screen for real-life experiences on bank holidays rather than using downtime for shopping online. 

After deciphering the data, it is clear that there is a post-bank holiday spending uplift, and unexpectedly, these days show no correlation with ‘pay day’.

Ecrubox worked with Dr Funke a consumer psychologist, to explore the possible reasoning behind the unusual consumer shift.  “Coming out of lockdown, and still to this day, there’s a lot of feeling of anxiety but there’s also the feeling of freedom. 

“We’re all living for the present at the moment so we’re doing things we wouldn’t normally do and our spending habits have changed too. 

“We’re all wanting to live our best lives so we’re now using our bank holidays to get out of the house, connect face to face and have new experiences. Shopping is an afterthought – it’ll be done later, which is what this data shows beautifully,”  Dr Funke concludes. 

Heather Horton, CEO of Ecrubox says; “Consumers are spending 24/7 at the touch of the button. Gone are the days of the 5am shopping queues in the cold, or filling our online shopping baskets just before a sale drops at midnight.

“With our new hybrid working schedules people are shopping while they’re working at home, there’s not the lunchtime quick shop or after work shopping, it’s constant. The majority of the public are now e-commerce pros. Not in terms of how to plan for retail but how to take advantage of the online world to fulfil our needs”.

A good example would be one of the most popular channels for online vs High Street, mobile and broadband comparison shopping. For those working in this sector, your customers are no longer spending the bank holiday looking at the best deals possible. Neither though are they wasting that newfound sense of freedom by visiting a street-level option. But come two days later, they’re back on admin mode and that’s when your budgets should strike. Ecrubox has seen the possibility in this particular sector of tapping into a trend that has the potential for further growth, with current data showing a whopping 310% increase in revenue around this time. Life admin, like arranging your home broadband content is now part of the consumer hybrid workday, not a ‘day off’ task.

Heather adds: “For those in the fashion sector I advise you to increase your advertising budget to 48 hours after a bank holiday, and hold off any kind of aggressive remarketing, sales messaging and even email marketing during the bank holiday. By delaying your tactics by just a few days there’s an increase on average of revenue up to 55% that you could tap into and grow further”.

While marketers in fashion and mobile and broadband should be looking at investing in the days after, the opposite takes place for the alcohol industry; pre-bank holidays we see an obvious uplift. Data shows that peak consumer spending and transactional value is on average up to 250%, and is actually five days before a bank holiday as customers find themselves in top organising mode, that’s when you have the online footfall and opportunity to grow further.    

Heather continues: “We work with a lot of companies, and I’m advising them to be mindful and think of how receptive consumers are going to be to their messages, and avoid any new sales or offers during the day itself. 

“I want to highlight and help businesses grow and make the most of their marketing budget. By adjusting your spend by a day or two, you could see a revenue uplift of up to 205%. And with eight bank holidays a year, that’s a lot of potential growth opportunities to make the most of”.