The time to gather seasonal consumer insights is approaching. In between considering the lingering impacts of economic challenges and understanding shoppers’ needs, it’s the perfect time to capture the learnings that will enhance next year’s plans.

How have you prepared for this year’s holiday shopping chaos? Is your strategy nailed down? Are you certain your proposition is just right? Most importantly, are you prepared to learn what your consumer wants in real-time, so you can do away with unexpected pitfalls and meet needs head-on in 2024?

The window to do this is approaching, and a recent study shows that it’s smaller than ever.

Deloitte’s 2023 Holiday Retail Survey reports that the shopping period in the US has shrunk to 5.8 weeks on average, versus the 7.4 weeks of only four years ago. On top of that, the study reports that almost one third of consumers’ shopping budget will be spent in just the last two weeks of November alone.

Why seasonal consumer insights need to be recorded in real-time

It’s a truly unique time of year. Usual consumer habits fly out of the window, and people’s buying patterns change in every single category. For some brands this season could not be more vital. For those in Perfume, or Confectionary, for example, the holiday rush could make or break an entire year’s revenue plan. With the stakes so high and only one annual chance to knock it out of the park – how do you make sure you’re building better every year?

Core to Catalyx’s philosophy and reinforced time and again is the truth that research needs to capture actual behaviour, not claimed. Talking speculatively to your target consumers in the height of Summer about their December habits will steer you wrong; last Christmas is a distant memory and the approaching one is too far off. With the best intention in the world, no one could accurately predict what they will think, feel, do, or want during the holiday rush when they’re busy enjoying their actual holidays in the sun.

So, outside of in-the-moment research which may feel risky with only one shot to get it right, brands can delve deep into their EPOS data, which will only reflect the “what” and not the “why”. Resultingly, brands without the planning in place to capture consumer behaviour during their most vital and fast-moving period will be empty-handed the following year when it comes to insights, instead of having the full picture and an evolved game plan.

What’s the solution?

The good news is it’s not too late to secure your seasonal consumer insights. The only way to learn about how consumers engage with your brand or category during the festive season is to capture behaviour, and the only way to make sure this is representative of your diverse and evolving audience is to do this at scale.

If you would like to truly get to the core of how your consumers’ shop this festive season, Catalyx can help. We capture hundreds of images, videos and verbatim of shopping behaviours, and our robust mixed-methodology approach can audit how consumers shop your current festive offering in real-time, including emotion and perceptions of your brand versus that of your competition. We’ll look at product, pack, price, promotion, placement and consumer psychology so you have the recipe for success.

Far better than a Christmas present – we are able to gather all of this and then package it up in a set of key principles and actionable next steps so you know what you need to do next year to have an even better festive season. Don’t miss out on the chance to future-proof your strategy for next year by optimising your consumer research this year!

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