Brands Meeting Consumers' Desire to Give This Holiday Season

This year we’re seeing more brands recognize the importance of their consumer intelligence and using it to identify emerging trends that have staying power. And one overarching concept taking hold amongst consumers worldwide this year is that of giving back. In our EMEA Consumer Insight Analytics Report 2021, we shared shifts in spending and value-based shopping is certainly top of mind. We also see other community-minded concerns including shopping small and sustainability concerns. Let’s see how that looks!

With consumers worldwide more concerned with giving than receiving, it really does feel like the holiday season is a bit truer to its spoken intent this year – more so than possibly ever before! Below, we can see an overwhelming positive sentiment toward giving, with consumers’ wishlists this year apparently more outwardly focused than we’ve experienced in previous years.


Surveying Senior Marketers to Understand Shifts

What accounts for this shift? We know that the past two years have brought about a good number of changes in the way the world works and lives, which of course translates to a shift in the way the world shops. And in light of the pandemic wreaking havoc in markets worldwide, EMEA businesses, like others, found ways to reconnect with consumers and re-energize confidence.

We performed a comprehensive survey of senior-level marketers in the EMEA region, to learn how executives are perceiving the current and forecasted business climate, the role consumer insights plays in their success, and best practices for embracing consumer insights in their organizations.

And much like other businesses worldwide, these leaders recognized noticeable shifts in shopping behaviors, which helped them identify both challenges and growth opportunities. They were able to use consumer insights to generate awareness, enhance brand loyalty, and grow in these challenging times. The infographic above offers a solid jumping off point for brands rethinking their approach.


Rethinking Brand Marketing to Accommodate Consumer Mindset

Thanks to COVID, consumers are now more aware of what they shop for, or more accurately – how the things they shopped for impact them and also the world. Correspondingly, as their awareness of their own shopping behaviors have expanded, so too have their interactions about products and services online. And this has caused brands to make moves to quickly capture all of the intelligence and apply it across their organizations.

As we can see from the lists below, the ways EMEA brands were using consumer insight in 2020 has grown a good bit in 2021, with “understanding the voice of the customer” capturing the top spot this year – and for good reason:


The personal challenges people faced from COVID have been obvious, but the impacts on brands were not equally clear. Although many had less disposable income to shop, many consumers were okay but cautious – and others seamlessly shifted to working from home, with some having more disposable income available but still taking a hard look at purchases. They had time to be more discerning after all. And as a result, they’re searching for DIY and #shopsmall offerings on eBay and Etsy:

word cloud showing etsy and ebay

They also had less time to shop in store and fewer choices when they were able to actually shop in-store as leading brands tightened their belts and offered less options to accommodate consumers’ often odd buying habits.

This sent many consumers online to shop – and a good number of them were doing so for the first time. Formerly hesitant shoppers found themselves creating online orders for pickup or delivery and they were surprised to see that it was super easy to do so – and they liked it.

As we observed in March, delivery services worldwide were performing well. And in the U.S. Instacart’s customer base broadened to include more seniors and immunocompromised individuals and conversation about using the app spiked online, particularly on Reddit:


And this brings us back to how where their mindset is as they shop this holiday season. With newly minted online consumers exposed to a variety of new options, potential and viewpoints, commiserating with others facing similar struggles was an eventuality. Online consumers learned how to navigate a pandemic online together – and they learned to care more about each others’ struggles as well. And the challenges facing not only people, but the planet.

The focus shifted as the shopping habits shifted, with people no longer rushing about to work and home, and most of the world stuck inside for much longer periods of time – the focus shifted form an internal focus to one that was more aware of the bigger picture. And this has resulted in a much stronger push toward shopping small, giving back and being sustainability minded.


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And, very relevantly here – it has drawn consumer attention toward how brands are meeting these value-based needs.

Consumers are eager to use new technologies, products and services online but they are acutely aware of the impact their actions are having – and of the power they have to affect change. The senior level marketers we surveyed are very aware of these higher standards, hence the expanded use cases and other important considerations that are now on their radar – also, more so than ever before.

Are you meeting consumers where their desires live? Reach out for a demo to make sure that’s the case and be sure to download our EMEA Consumer Insight Analytics Report 2021 to learn from other leading marketers’ challenges and triumphs and inform your decision-making as you plan out your end of year campaigns!


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