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Craig Tuck
Craig Tuck 7 November 2017

8 in 10 Christmas shoppers share gift ideas via “Dark Social”

Dark Social is the biggest missed opportunity in marketing as many brands do not have the right tools in place to harness the power of this consumer signal.

RadiumOne, an advertising technology company has announced the launch of their latest insights report revealing consumer sharing and purchase behaviour over the Christmas period in 2016. With less than 100 days until Christmas, the report has been released to coincide with the window of opportunity opening for brands to influence consumers’ purchasing behaviour.

Bringing Dark Social into the Light

The report identifies that 80% of Christmas shoppers share Christmas themed content, including gift recommendations and requests, through one-to-one email or instant messaging, also known as “Dark Social”. Dark Social is the biggest missed opportunity in marketing as many brands do not have the right tools in place to harness the power of this consumer signal.

The report reveals that 30% of consumers shared more content online over the Christmas period than usual and 72% of this content, including gift ideas and recipes, is shared via dark social. This is compared to just 22% of content shared on Facebook.  

Dark social sharing is a clear sign of intent for later purchase, with 50% of people sharing technology gift ideas and 33.3% of people sharing fashion gifts via these channels. Of those who shared technology and fashion gift ideas, one-half and one-third, respectively, went on to make purchases in these categories. 

No signs of Black Friday madness easing up
  

Although brand purchases at Christmas time remained above average compared to the rest of the year, in 2016, RadiumOne data revealed a clear spike in online transactions on Black Friday. 

Technology and jewellery sales increased by 52% and 48% respectively on Black Friday compared to Christmas, and sports and beauty purchases increased by a third. These insights reveal the day is no longer just considered a tech sale, with a number of categories reporting a jump in online sales during that period.

Most consumers are still researching on mobile, but buying on desktop

Still someway short of perception, the research highlights that whilst consumers might use a mobile device to generate gifting ideas, the majority are still turning to desktop devices for transactions. 

Sharing behaviour is an indicator of consumer intent and the most likely moment they’ll interact with a brand. Our data shows that 61 per cent of shoppers will also do a ‘big shop’ vs little and often. So harnessing the planning and sharing period is key in influencing consumers’ final purchase, and tracking sharing dark social is imperative at any point, but more so during the Christmas period where there is more to gain.
 

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