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A year living social trends: Christmas shopping

It should come as no surprise that we’ve identified yet another social trend to live this month – after almost a full year of them (from marble to life automation), there’s not much we haven’t tried! If, like me, you already knew that there are only 62 days, 12 hours and 43 minutes until Christmas (and even less by the time you’re reading this!), this month’s trend may not come as a surprise: Christmas gifting.

November is the month where conversation around gifts begins to gather momentum. Over the past five years, there has been a 44% average increase in people in the UK googling ‘Christmas gifts’ throughout the month – or 11% each year.

In November last year, the conversation around gifting received 130,000 mentions in the UK. This is for organic conversation alone: when including users retweeting Christmas present competition entries, the volume increases by 25%. What’s more, we seem to prefer talking about giving gifts as opposed to receiving them: much of the conversation is dominated by people either recommending gift ideas or sharing what they have bought for others. What a nice bunch we all are!

On top of this, it’s worth noting that Christmas gifting in November receives far more attention than other seasonal occasions where gifts are given, such as Valentine’s Day. The number of Google searches for ‘Christmas gifts’ in November last year was 921% higher than the number of searches for ‘Valentine’s gifts’ in February.

But who is predominantly driving this conversation about gifting? You might have thought it was mainly companies using social to advertise their ‘perfect for Christmas’ products as early as possible. Certainly, magazine brands were some of the top sources for gift-related conversation in November, with British Vogue posting about Christmas gifts 23 times in one month! But of the top 20 most authoritative accounts on Twitter*, only 3 were brands (Cineworld, Soap & Glory and Lipsy).

Women led the gifting conversation by 57.3%, with this month’s 3 most popular emojis being Christmas themed (🎁 🎄 🎅). Interestingly, the majority of the conversation originated in the north: London aside (dominating the conversation by 29.9%), the next most gifting-focused cities were Manchester (5.2%), Glasgow (2.7%) and Leeds (2.6%).

How are we living the trend?

Unsurprisingly, the answer to this is pretty obvious! Any excuse to celebrate Christmas early…


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