2018 Holiday Consumer Behaviour Report

27 November, 2018

11 mins read

Bearded man wearing Santa hat and holding lots of gifts

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This time every year, the reports start to roll in around the billions of dollars Aussies are expected to spend during the holiday season. People are in the mood to shop. In fact, around 7 million Australians don’t even track their spending over the holiday period, with 43% of the population not even setting a budget. For the business owner, it’s like being a kid in a candy store…or is it?

As the digital world advances, consumer behaviour changes. Add Christmas into the mix and you have a whole different type of consumer to try and persuade. We’re going to take you through finding your demographic, and when and how they like to shop over the holiday season. Once you have this information, you can target your consumers and nail down those sales.

Step One: Find Your Consumer Demographic

This one is simple but extremely crucial. In a world where user and customer experience reign supreme, knowing who you’re marketing to is key to a successful marketing campaign—particularly over the Christmas season.

People of a generation tend to have similar shopping patterns as they’re in a similar stage of life. For example, older generations are more likely to have a budget and a plan. So, not only will you know when to increase your marketing efforts, you’ll know what is more likely to appeal to them.

Find your target demographic below and then move onto the next step to find out when your audience is most looking to shop. We’ll be looking at Baby Boomers, Generation X (Gen X), Generation Y (Gen Y), Generation Z (Gen Z) and, while they technically aren’t a generation, Parents.

Please note: Generation periods vary from source to source. Please use this as a guide only.

Baby boomers diagram

Step Two: Place Your Demographic on the Consumer Behaviour Timeline

Google splits Christmas shoppers into 4 types:

The Evergreen: People who spread their Christmas shopping out across the holiday season.

The Early Bird: Those who get their holiday shopping over and done with early.

The Deal Seeker: Consumers who love a deal and shop in peak sale times.

The Last Minute Shopper: The shoppers who leave their shopping until the last minute, often the week leading up to Christmas Day.

Shopper buying schedule

When you place your target consumer into this timeline, you can see when you would be best to release offers, increase your brand awareness and schedule more staff on the roster. Find out when your main target generation is most likely to shop and then head onto step three to find out how they prefer to shop. Then we’ll tell you how to peak their interest the most.

Baby Boomers

Most likely to be Evergreen or Early Bird shoppers.

Least likely to be Deal Seeker or Last Minute shoppers.

Gen X

Most likely to be an Evergreen, Deal Seeker or Last Minute shopper.

Least likely to be an Early Bird shopper.

Gen Y

Most likely to be a Deal Seeker or Last Minute Shopper.

Least likely to be an Evergreen or Early Bird shopper.

Gen Z

Most likely to be a Deal Seeker to Last Minute shopper.

Least likely to be Evergreen and Early Bird shoppers.


Most likely to be a Deal Seeker or Last Minute shopper.

Least likely to be an Evergreen or Early Bird shopper.

Step Three: Consumer Behaviour Preferences

While the news may lead you to believe digital has been the downfall of the humble shopfront, consumer behaviour statistics don’t exactly support this. As you’ll see below, in the figures reported by Google, there is an almost equal balance of online and offline shopping for all shopper types.

Shopper type diagram

Other useful statistics:

66% of Deal Seekers say they end up shopping for themselves and 52% use their device while in-store.

In 2018, there was a 42% increase in payWave transactions.

Of all transactions, around 7.7% ($1.6 billion) are completed using Buy Now, Pay Later providers, such as AfterPay and ZipPay.

How do you use consumer behaviour in your marketing strategy?

You now know who you’re targeting, when to target them and that essentially you need to do so both online and in-store. It’s a little too late to get a professional eCommerce website up and running before the holiday rush if you don’t have one, but there are a few things you can do:

Social Media

Best for targeting: Gen Z and Gen Y demographics.

The average person spends roughly 135 minutes per day on social media platforms. That’s 2.25 hours they are not sleeping, eating, socialising face to face, spending time with family, performing day-to-day tasks or time they’re not at school or work. It’s a prime opportunity for you to get in their mind and build trust in your brand.

Use a combination of paid and organic posts on the platform you receive the best interaction from your consumers. Make it easier for yourself with a social media management tool or assistant.

Search Engine Marketing (Remarketing)

Best for targeting: All demographics

89% of Deal Seekers, 83% of Last Minute shoppers, 82% of Evergreen shoppers and 78% of Early Bird shoppers say they use a search engine to help them with their holiday shopping. Everyone ‘Googles’ these days.

What is the best gift for children under 5? Where do I find the latest new-release games? Who has the sold out pair of shoes my mother said she wants in stock?

Use Google Ads (and Bing Ads, or any other search engine marketing platform) to target these shoppers exactly when they’re looking for what you have. Remarketing allows you to target people who already know about your brand, so are more likely to buy. Find out how.

SMS & Email Offers

Best for targeting: All demographics

When was the last time you spoke to someone who doesn’t own a mobile phone? Exactly. Statistics show SMS open rates are around 99%, while emails are around 25%, give or take. Both have their place.

Learn more about SMS marketing and email marketing.

How Localsearch can Help You With Your Holiday Marketing

As a digital marketing service, we have everything from customer managers to digital marketing tools and specialists to do it all for you. If you prefer to self-manage and want to simplify your processes or leave it up to an expert, our Google Premier Partner team are here to help.

Learn more about Localsearch digital marketing services here: business.localsearch.com.au/.

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