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Christmas retail trends: Baby boom and break ups bring big opportunities for brands

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Brands should be ready to engage with a wave of new parents and singletons this Christmas and beyond, as the consequences of the spring and November lockdowns come to light, according to new research.

Christmas retail trends: Baby boom and break ups bring big opportunities for brands

The study, from eBay Ads UK, reveals how interest in pregnancy and break-up related products in the first lockdown could signal more opportunities for brands in the weeks to come.

Calling it quits

As the reality of the first lockdown set in, searches for “break up” on surged 47% in the week of 29th March 2020, compared to the previous week. In the same week, also saw a huge increase in interest for post-break up necessities, including “self-help” and “chocolate”, with searches rising 55% and 95% respectively.

But it wasn’t only at the start of lockdown that relationships ruptured. The new insights also indicate that more couples parted ways – or even divorced – later in lockdown, meaning brands could expect to see another wave of breakups over the next few weeks. Over the course of May 2020 searches for “divorce” more than doubled (rising 114%), compared to the previous month.

Meanwhile, peak ‘break up week’ occurred in the fifth week of the spring lockdown: during the week of 26th April 2020, searches for “divorce” on shot up 80% compared to the week before, while searches for indulgent items soared – from “adult toy” (up 18%) to “pamper” (up 30%) and “self-care” (up 43%).

A wave of new arrivals

Although early rumours of a lockdown baby boom may have been exaggerated, the latest insights from eBay Ads suggest such a trend may well come to fruition – meaning brands should be prepared to engage with potential new parents this winter. In April 2020, eBay saw searches for “pregnancy” and “baby” rise 57% and 45% respectively, compared to the month before – possibly as numbers of expectant mothers swelled.

And, as people progressed through the stages of pregnancy, they started to shop for newborn essentials. In July 2020, saw interest in pram brands increase – searches for ‘Maclaren’ jumped by 79% compared to April, while searches for ‘Maxi-cosi’ and ‘Quinny’ rose by 74% and 49% respectively, in the same time frame.

Harmony Murphy, Head of UK Advertising at eBay, said: “Whether people are going through a break-up or welcoming a new addition to their family, these big life changes can have a profound effect on shoppers’ needs and behaviour. With couples having been cooped up at home again, we expect to see a fresh wave of babies and break ups depending on which way their relationships turned. Brands should keep a close eye on shopper behaviour over the next few weeks and harness the freshest data insights available in order to offer comfort, information and inspiration to their audiences when they need it.”


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