Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Expect surges in spending as lockdown restrictions lift, says eBay Ads  

Brands should anticipate a surge in consumer spending over the coming weeks, as lockdown restrictions begin to lift – with interest in ‘going out’ garments and holiday accessories set to soar among shoppers, according to research conducted by eBay Ads UK.

The study found that 20% of consumers surveyed have more disposable income compared to pre-pandemic and 69% already have a priority purchase in mind for when lockdown lifts – demonstrating a need for brands to ensure they’re engaging customers with the most relevant content well ahead of key lifting dates if they’re to win their share of spend.

Clothing is set to be a key purchase for many consumers, with the research finding that one in five respondents (22%) plan on buying new clothes as a priority once lockdown lifts – meaning brands should be ready to reach out to a new wave of people looking for a fashion refresh.

But shoppers won’t just be after any old attire. Supporting analysis of shopper behaviour on ebay.co.uk carried out by eBay Ads UK indicates that ‘going out’ getups will be the key focus for consumers as they ditch their joggers for new night-out outfits before pub gardens open this April. On 27 June 2020, a week before UK pubs reopened following the first lockdown, searches for ‘skinny jeans’ on the site jumped 47% compared to the day before, while searches for ‘hoop earrings’ and ‘fake eyelashes’ increased by 27% and 24% respectively in the same timeframe.

The new research also reveals that older generations are just as keen to go out on the town as younger ones. While just over a quarter (26%) of 16-24-year-olds say they are most excited to go to a pub, bar or nightclub when the current lockdown lifts, this excitement is closely followed by that of the 55+ age group, with 23% reporting that this too would be their priority.

Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK at eBay, said: “We know that Brits are itching to start living their lives to the fullest as lockdown restrictions lift, and these insights demonstrate that brands need to ensure they’re engaging excited consumers with relevant products and content in advance of key moments – whether they want to go out on the town or go on holiday.

“To make sure they’re putting their best foot forward, brands mustn’t forget to keep an open mind and tap into the freshest data to ensure they’re engaging with audiences that might be less predictable, but just as important. For instance, with the older generation on track to receive their first and second Covid-19 vaccinations within the coming weeks, brands would be wise to ensure they are not overlooking this important demographic longing to make the most of their newfound freedom.”

While some Brits are keen to hit the pubs and clubs, many are raring for a break. 38% of consumers surveyed say that post lockdown they are most excited to go on holiday – which comes second only to the excitement of seeing friends and family (40%). With shopper insights from eBay Ads also finding that searches in the ‘holidays and travel’ category on the site shot up 75% as travel corridors opened up in July 2020, it’s clear brands should be well prepared to cater to a boom in travel interest once restrictions lift.

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