Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the fairest Christmas shopper of them all?

‘Tis the season to be merry, so for a bit of festive fun we thought we’d introduce you to Europe’s surprisingly different Christmas shopper types. They’re all surging into shops right now, but how differently do they behave country-by-country?

ShopperTrak’s historic retail traffic data allows us to know when, where, and to what extent shopper activity has taken place.  Using data from the past four years, we’ve compared data for several European countries during the Christmas trading season — which runs from late November to early January —and found distinctly different Christmas shopper characteristics.

Meet Europe’s very different Christmas shopper types

Organised Antonio – Italy

In a bid to plan ahead, thoughtful Italian shoppers like Antonio prefer buying gifts farther in advance of Christmas when compared to other European countries.  We predict that footfall on the Italian high street is likely to peak on Sunday 17th December this year.  In Italy there’s less evidence of soaring shopper traffic in the last few days before Christmas, as is witnessed in some other countries.

Last-minute Laura — UK

Over in the UK, Laura will be finishing her Christmas list at the last minute, embarking on the bulk of her store shopping on ‘Super Saturday’, 23rd December. Based on ShopperTrak data, we predict that this will be one of the UK’s busiest Christmas trading days in stores. ‘Panic Thursday’, on 21st December will also be extremely busy, as it marks the point at which British shoppers will rely on shopping in stores to buy all their Christmas gifts in time for the festive break.

Stealthy Stefan – Germany

German shoppers, like Stefan, are more methodical in their approach to Christmas shopping. Our traffic data shows that in-store shopping visits peak on Saturdays throughout December, indicating a sensible spreading of Christmas shopping over the month.  That said, Super Saturday is likely to be the biggest store traffic day in Germany, 23rd December.

Bargain-hunting Belle – France

French shoppers, like Belle, adore the New Year sales when department stores and big brands offer tempting discounts. Known as ‘les soldes d’hiver’, this shopping bonanza begins on 10th January 2018, so this day is likely to be even busier in shops and shopping centres than Super Saturday.  Celebrations around Epiphany on 6th January can also drive up shopping activity in France, generating another January peak day.

Don’t assume Christmas shopping trends are Europe-wide

These are quite general country-by-country character types. But it’s clear that shopping patterns vary greatly, depending on where you happen to be in Europe.  Retailers need to focus on local traditions and traits when they prepare for certain festive peak days.  Being fully prepared for when shoppers are ready to buy will pay dividends.

This Christmas and New Year, the top performing stores will be those with detailed prior knowledge of localised seasonal shopping behaviour patterns, and the best ideas for bringing product, service and in-store entertainment to life, just when the magic is needed most.

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