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Holiday Shopping Trends: Adapting Halloween, an Early Christmas

eBay Etsy
Holiday Shopping Trends: Adapting Halloween, an Early Christmas

Tis the time to talk about holiday shopping trends, if eBay and Etsy are any indication. eBay pronounced August “Holiday Kickoff Month,” promising to provide sellers with practical insights on preparing for the holiday season. And Etsy published its annual holiday trend report featuring “the season’s key themes and biggest opportunities.”

eBay kicked off its holiday content series on August 4th with a podcast featuring the Vice President of Seller Operations and Engagement Marni Levine and eBay Marketing Manager Jennifer Deal. Each week, eBay will focus on a different theme, such as what to sell, buyer behaviors, and marketing.

On August 11th, eBay hosted a podcast featuring an interview with General Manager for Hard Goods North America Eddie Chen, who shared information about current selling trends that he expects to continue into the holidays. Among the categories he called out were Home and Garden (particularly “Small Kitchen Appliances” and gardening items) and Sporting Goods.

Etsy’s report noted that holiday shopping on its marketplace typically begins with decor before shifting to gifting. It noted that this year’s focus may be more on decor than entertaining and hosting.

It advised sellers to watch for more information about how they could participate in Etsy sales events during the holidays, noting, “During last year’s Cyber event, listings on sale sold at a higher rate than those that were not on sale.”

Etsy also pointed out “Occasion opportunities” – for example, sales of Halloween items. It said searches for such goods typically pick up in September and peak the first week of October.

It also explained how the pandemic may impact how people celebrate the October holiday.

Some people will adapt Halloween trick-or-treating: “People are rethinking this traditional evening activity with new ideas like self-service treat stations, sanitation stations, scavenger hunts, and drive-through haunted houses and decoration tours.”

Others may move festivities outdoors in small groups or join virtual gatherings. For creative sellers, Etsy pointed out that some shoppers may be looking for costumes that creatively incorporate masks into their designs.

Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson participated in a podcast to discuss holiday shopping trends, which you can listen to on this page of the Etsy Seller Handbook.

eBay also published publishing the results of a survey of 2,064 adults in the UK who celebrate Christmas conducted by Censuswide in June.

It found Christmas will begin earlier than usual in the UK, with 27% of consumers planning to start Christmas shopping and preparations earlier than they did last year.

eBay predicts purchases will be more passion-driven. Over half (56%) of consumers surveyed have taken up a new hobby or interest during the lockdown, and 31% observed a family member doing the same. Of those who have taken up a new hobby or interest, three quarters (75%) intend to continue with it for at least the rest of the year – “meaning these interests are likely to wield influence over Christmas wish lists,” according to eBay UK.

The survey also found that gardening and baking are the two most popular new hobbies taken up during the lockdown. One fifth (20%) of those surveyed said that they’d got into gardening, and the same number said they’d developed an interest in baking.

More information about the survey results can be found on the eBay UK blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.