The release of UK retailers’ Christmas TV adverts is now more hotly anticipated than the race for the Christmas No 1.
The current raft of Christmas adverts perfectly exemplify the converging physical and digital worlds: on the one hand, we have witnessed an explosion in digital as a channel - as a means of communicating, researching, buying and sharing - but, fundamentally, there is a return to traditional values.
This Christmas will certainly be a mobile Christmas, where an unprecedented number of transactions will be done on mobile devices, and phones themselves a highly coveted gift.
The increase of mobile screen size and the advent of 4G earlier this year act as huge enablers in fuelling our desire to watch and share video content. It also enables an immersive and instant shopping experience. We have seen a huge rise in ‘Commuter Commerce’ and we expect more Christmas planning, researching and buying to be done on the move than ever before.
Looking ahead, the use of mobile in-store is set to evolve, as exemplified by Sainsbury’s recently announced app. This is a great example of technology being used seamlessly and advantageously in retail.
Personalisation and targeting will continue to take a step forward, and this could ultimately change not just how consumers shop but also feed back into the kinds of Christmas campaigns we are likely to see in future. The big Christmas ads we will see in 2015 may be far more tailored to the individual thanks to shared social content.
As for this year, we anticipate the shape of Christmas shopping to be based on securing high-ticket or ‘must-have’ items well in advance, with another, last-minute rush as retailers reduce prices to drive ‘need to buy’ gift sales.
By delivering the best possible shopping experience, retailers can win by providing the opportunity to balance convenience with need. After all, even the happiest shopper can feel their festive cheer evaporate when faced with a huge queue at the tills on Christmas Eve - and no Christmas ad, no matter how emotive, will change that.
Sarah Todd is UK CEO of Geometry Global