Christmas shopping in the year of a pandemicNews
Posted by: The Probe 5th December 2020
It’s December, which means most people now consider it socially acceptable to mention the “C” word. At this point, retail staff are likely to be at their limit listening to the same festive hits on repeat, whilst the rest of the country prepares to eat, drink and be merry – and not a moment too soon. Considering the turbulency of the past year, many of us are just excited to bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2020. Nevertheless, before we ring in the New Year, it’s time to think about shopping for one of the most stressful yet highly anticipated occasions.
Within the population that celebrates Christmas, there are those who are feeling pretty smug about having already completed their festive shop. Others are in the process of doing so or have yet to even get started. Regardless of the shopper, it is interesting that there are some key trends driving buying behaviour this month, with one of the most significant being that the pandemic has compelled people to reconsider their priorities. According to a survey carried out by eBay Advertising, consumers consider it a top priority this Christmas to spend time with loved ones, hang out at home by choice rather than obligation, and enjoy a quiet celebration after a difficult year.
These findings suggest that the appetite for Christmas hasn’t been dampened, despite the circumstances, but festivities are likely to shift from materialistic to meaningful. In fact, 37% of consumers say they will put more thought into the presents they give this year compared to previous years, with many expecting the gifts they buy for friends and family to be particularly thoughtful, functional, creative or essential. As well as influencing how we think and feel about Christmas, the pandemic has transformed the way we shop for the big day. Indeed, a recent report estimates that 17.2 million British consumers plan to make permanent changes to their shopping behaviour, as perceived risks of contracting COVID-19 at physical stores redirects spending to online channels.
This supports eBay Advertising’s research that found a third of consumers are expecting to do their entire Christmas shop online this year, with 57% agreeing that it is easier to get what they need online than it is in physical stores. No matter whether people purchase Christmas-related items online or in-store, many will watch the pennies. Consumers spent an average of £551 on last year’s Christmas shopping and celebrations, but a third have said they will spend less for 2020. Understandably, income and financial security are the top factors that will influence what shoppers decide to buy, or how much they spend on Christmas this year.1
Reflecting on the current economic climate, a lot of people will be keen to make their money go further for the holiday season, which comes down to being as prepared as possible. It is easy to get carried away when shopping for Christmas presents, and impulse purchases can see spending spiral upwards. As such, it can be useful to make a list, as this is more likely to help you stay focused on buying the items you need. Whether you are gift-hunting online or in-store, it can also help to shop around. If you are looking at items in a retail store, for example, you might be able to purchase them cheaper directly from the brand’s own website.
It is important to bear in mind that although it can be a great feeling to give or receive a present, price isn’t everything. Especially under the pressure of trying to find the perfect present, it can be tempting to throw money at the problem. However, an item with a hefty price tag doesn’t always make for a great gift. As cliché as it sounds, it’s the thought that counts and nothing can be more thoughtful than a gift that keeps on giving. Take this opportunity to remind your patients that oral healthcare products can make inexpensive and practical gifts, offering long-term benefits that extend far beyond the Christmas period.
There are a number of gentle yet effective oral healthcare products that can make fantastic additions to a stocking or DIY advent calendar. Curaprox offers a diverse and colourful selection of CPS interdental brushes and CS 5460 ultra soft manual toothbrushes, which can be combined with the ‘Be you’ range of fluoride toothpastes – available in six bold flavours. These include watermelon, gin & tonic and persimmon, blackberry and liquorice, grapefruit and bergamot, peach and apricot, as well as apple and aloe vera. You can also recommend the Hydrosonic Easy electric toothbrush – now available in a festive sleeve – to patients who are looking for an even more impactful Christmas present to bestow on a friend or family member.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we all deserve a merry end to 2020. Now is the ideal time to share the love – in respect of social distancing guidelines, of course. Remember that expressing your appreciation for those closest to you needn’t break the bank with just a little thought and planning.
Author: Author Dawn Woodward National Sales manager Curaprox UK
 eBay Advertising. (2020) Christmas spend trends: The path to profit during a pandemic. Available at: https://11gjbt124nzn1j3uf6p38a01-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/ebay_christmas_report_2020.pdf. [Last accessed: 09.09.20].
 Alvarez & Marsal. (2020) 17.2 million U.K. consumers expected to make permanent changes to their shopping habits. Available at: https://www.alvarezandmarsal.com/insights/172-million1-uk-consumers-expected-make-permanent-changes-their-shopping-habits. [Last accessed: 09.09.20].
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