At Giraffe Insights, we are dedicated to helping brands stay connected with kids and families. In 2020 we kept our ear to the ground to bring you the latest insights from lockdown, helping you keep track of trends and changes. As we head into another UK winter, the headlines surrounding Covid are already increasing, with speculation of another lockdown. The word ‘unprecedented’ is still being utilised in terms of any strategy being implemented, however for this winter period, it isn’t unprecedented, we have been through it before, and we have the knowledge and tools to keep our strategies on point to deal with any challenges.

What have we learned from Christmas 2020 and what does this mean for Christmas 2021?

Through our syndicated study ‘Little Voices’ we have been tracking parents purchasing behaviours and keeping brands informed. Throughout Covid, we did see online become more important in the shopping journey. During the first lockdown in the UK, parents unsurprisingly migrated towards shopping online with 8 in 10 parents shopping via their laptop screen (Little Voices, 2020). Window shopping became online scouring, with the shift to online looking to stay… 

After our first lockdown, we saw parents returning to stores and combining in-store and online purchasing to complement each other, with many supporting their local high streets. Most recently, in-store shopping has become the most popular option for parents. Although half of the parents believe they will shop online more frequently now, they remain committed to shopping in stores wherever possible (Little Voices, 2021). Due to the uncertainty of store openings over the holiday season, brands will need to stand out on the shelf to influence early purchases, particularly for kids’ products.

Inspiring families this Christmas

Parents start seriously considering Christmas gifts as early as July, with the build-up speeding up as September approaches (Little Voices, 2021). In light of another possible Christmas lockdown, half of mums are expected to start thinking about the festive season a little earlier than usual this year. Even with restrictions, parents of children aged 2-12 rely most on in-store inspiration to make purchase decisions, with one third of parents being influenced by this channel (Little Voices, 2021). If stores close again, and products are hidden from view, brands will have a tough time reaching families. In addition, parents will likely conduct their research online before making a purchase in stores this year, so brands must maintain consistent pricing across all channels.

The children themselves initiate the purchase decision-making process by telling their parents about a new product or brand, followed by the parents seeing it in-store and purchasing or returning to buy later (Little Voices, 2021). For kids and their decision-making, in-store shopping is a crucial element, with shops predicted to be the number one place to find inspiration for gift ideas this Christmas, followed by their friends and family (Little Voices, 2021). In a season when 70% of kids get what they want, inspiring kids in-store and creating ‘chat-worthy’ products is crucial.

Viewing trends this Christmas

Our ‘Kids and the Screen’ research suggests that some viewing behaviour patterns over lockdown were due to unprecedented circumstances, whereas others are more likely to remain with us as we navigate back to the future. Content consumption increased as more time was spent indoors and the need to stay entertained increased. This resulted in the acceleration of viewing trends, with the growth of subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ (Kids and the Screen, October 2020).

The educational need has been increasing in popularity over the last year and is likely to stay relevant. As the school gates closed, parents relied on educational shows and movies to keep their kids occupied and entertained while enjoying family time. 7 in 10 kids watched more educational content during lockdown compared to 2019 with 59% also consuming more movies than ever before (Kids and the Screen, October 2020). 

Another need that has been strengthened over the lockdown period is that of family time and the need for family entertainment. Across multiple recent studies that we have conducted, parents have indicated that one positive to come from these difficult times is that they have been able to reconnect as a family and have taken part in activities together (Kids and the Screen, October 2020). Families will continue to seek opportunities to spend time together in new and fun ways this Christmas, whether that be through activities or the TV screen! 

There’s no need to remain in the dark as we move towards another winter. Get in touch with us to learn how you can continue to reach and maintain your brand visibility in these predictable yet not unprecedented times!

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