Do men and women shop differently at Christmas?

We know how important customer experience is to the modern consumer, which is why Leapfrogg has an ongoing quest to understand the needs and behaviours of the premium shopper. One of the most regular discussions we have about this is the difference in the way that men and women shop.

With Christmas fast approaching, we decided to ask our Premium Panel – which is made up of over 700 UK consumers – how they were intending to organise their gift-buying this Christmas.

We asked our Premium Panel two key questions and below we compare the boys to the girls.

Which channels are you most likely to use as part of your Christmas gift research?

"Likely" or "Very Likely" to use during Christmas gift research - Women

"Likely" or "Very Likely" to use during Christmas gift research - Men

At first glance it seems as though men and women are pretty similar in the mix of channels that they’re using for their Christmas shopping. There are, however, a few small but not insignificant differences we spotted:

• Women are more likely to use a number of different channels equally in combination to research purchases at Christmas
• By comparison, men are more likely to use individual brand websites (33%) and emails from brands (12%) than social-based channels
• Although marginal, women are more likely to use social channels than men to research their purchases with 24% likely to use them vs. 21% of men
• Overall, the percentage of those likely to be using social media channels is low compared to the high percentage of people likely to use brand or lifestyle websites as part of their consideration process

Therefore, retailers should be prioritising their Christmas marketing spend for digital channels in the following top five order to maximise on the research habits of their target consumers:

1. Brand website
2. Coverage on lifestyle/fashion websites
3. Email
4. Coverage on influential blogs
5. Facebook

Which channels are you most likely to go on to make your Christmas gift purchases through?

Channel most likely to make Christmas purchases through - Women

Channel most likely to make Christmas purchases through - Men

The key take out here is that although men and women are both shopping through a variety of channels, women are more likely to be using a combination of purchase channels than men (55% vs. 42%).

The main difference between the purchasing behaviour of men and women is that men are more likely to purchase numerous gifts in one place and use multi-brand retailers (28% of men vs. 18% of women).

Brands marketing to men, therefore, must make the experience on their site and in their email marketing stand out from multi-brand stockists to ensure they get the sale.

Those with a target audience including women need to understand the combination of channels most relevant to them and split marketing efforts across them to capture the broad spread of research and purchase behaviours women like to use.

To find out how you can understand more about your customers’ shopping habits and behaviours get in touch with us or read more about what we do.


Premium retail Christmas campaigns

Christmas is, without a doubt, one of the most important times of the year for retailers and a successful Christmas can really make the difference between success and failure for a retailer.

With so much hinging on the Christmas period, it’s little surprise to see just how much effort and money retailers will put into their festive marketing campaigns. It’s no longer enough to promote the latest product or discount; campaigns must be clever, creative and most importantly emotive to win over shoppers in time for the festive rush.

This year, the stakes have been raised even higher with more lavish and creative campaigns appearing across all platforms. In light of this, we’ve brought together some of the most innovative campaigns that we have spotted this year to identify which retailers are most likely to have tapped into their customers’ hearts (and purses!)

Harvey Nichols – Could I be any clearer?

Last year we wrote about Harvey Nichols’ rather shallow Christmas campaign and this year they’ve continued the theme by launching a range of ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ Christmas cards.

When viewing products on the Harvey Nichols website you can select ‘create Christmas card’ which allows you to choose a card design which can be printed, emailed or shared through social media to send to your loved ones with a not-so-subtle hint of what’s really on your mind this Christmas.

Harvey Nicholls

Mulberry #WinChristmas

Mulberry is another brand who is continuing the theme of Christmas being all about the presents and has created an online campaign entitled #WinChristmas. The advert features an upper class household with family members all competing to outdo each other in their gifts for the spoilt daughter. Each present gets more and more over the top (including a Unicorn!) until granny trumps them all with a Mulberry handbag which gets the biggest reaction from the daughter.

The advert serves as a light-hearted reminder from the luxury brand that you can’t go wrong with giving a Mulberry bag for Christmas. The advert is also complemented by press, digital, in-store window displays, visual merchandising, social competitions and a digital Christmas gift finder – although I am not convinced anyone who has been really naughty deserves something from Mulberry!

Ted Baker’s #EdSelfie

This year, fashion retailer, Ted Baker has done something a bit different and launched a Christmas-themed game on Instagram to engage shoppers over the Christmas period.

The #TedsElfie campaign asks fans to help find Santa’s missing elves and gives clues on their social media pages with hints about where to look. Over on the @TedsElfie Instagram page, you can view various pictures and when you tap them clues are revealed as to the elves whereabouts. When you find an Elf, users can comment on the photos and follow the instructions for a chance to win prizes. I think it’s a really innovative campaign and a great use of Instagram and is certainly capturing the attention of fans of the brand.

ted baker

Selfridges ‘Elfridge and the Enchanted Forest’

Selfridges is another retailer who has also launched a Christmas-themed game to build awareness of their Elfridges service and loyalty amongst shoppers.

The retro inspired game called ‘Elfridge and the Enchanted Forest’ has five levels to represent each of its five stores and transactional website. Players take on the role of an Elfrdige to save Christmas after a golden goose steals the presents from Selfridges and have to navigate through a world reminiscent of Nintendo’s Super Mario. The game serves as a fun marketing tool to inform users about the locations of their different stores and the offers available.


Magic & Sparkle #Followthefairies

This year’s offering from Marks & Spencer has a strong emphasis on social media and the retailer has ditched all the celebrity signings it focused on so heavily last year.

M&S has launched an advert which features two fairies, Magic & Sparkle, who aim to lift festive spirits with ‘random acts of kindness.’ The retailer has utilised their Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts to spread the word and generate chatter with the hashtag #followthefairies.

To emphasise their theme of ‘acts of kindness’ M&S listened to people’s wishes on social media and used geotagging to locate them and make them come true. They ran unbranded events such as creating real snow outside a school in Cornwall, giving gifts to night shift workers, delivering chocolates to a hospital ward to and creating fairies made out of lights above Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge – all of which weren’t revealed to be the work of M&S until the advert was released. The fairies Twitter account has already amassed a massive 42,000 followers and the challenge for M&S will be to keep the attention of the followers they have amassed after the Christmas season.

Burberry – From London With Love

Burberry has launched a four minute film entitled From London with Love which features 12-year old Romeo Beckham – son of David and Victoria Beckham. As well as the advert, the campaign features an interactive store window in its London and Paris stores which enable visitors to interact with individual scenes in the advert through their mobiles. Consumers are also able to shop for items directly through Twitter.

Christopher Bailey, the brands CEO and Creative Director said the idea was about combining a “physical experience with something that is online” and working with Twitter meant the brand could “do that on different platforms in a physical location”.

John Lewis – Monty’s Magical Toy Machine

It wouldn’t be a Christmas campaign blog without including John Lewis. I thought this year’s advert was sweet, but it didn’t blow me away. However, what I thought was really innovative was some of the other ideas intended to extend the life of the campaign such as Monty’s Magical Toy Machine. At the flagship John Lewis store in Oxford Street, children can scan their favourite toy into the machine and through photogrammetry technology the toy then appears on screen as a moving as a life-like 3D image and dances for the child. I can only imagine the children’s responses to their toys coming to life!

john lewis magical toy machine

So there you have it; just a few of the Christmas campaigns we’ve spotted this Christmas. Which one is your favourite and are there any other good ones that I have missed?

The Weekly Shop (8th – 12th Dec)

Welcome to one of the last Weekly Shop’s of the year – where has the year gone! This week we have featured some stories you may have missed around ecommerce returns, the importance of mobile-friendly websites in 2015 and the future of Google’s search algorithm.

Social engagement within the premium furniture sector

During the latter part of this year, we have been investigating how premium retailers are delivering relevant content and engaging socially with their customers. In the first report of the series, we have looked at 20 leading retailers in the premium furniture sector and assessed how well they are engaging their audiences which produced some interesting insights. You can download the full report here.

Men shop very differently from women online and require a completely new approach

Moving onto some retail news, this article from Internet Retailing looks at how men and women shop for clothes in a very different way online and looks at how websites can cater to the male market.

15 tips for improving ecommerce returns policies

With Christmas being the busiest time of year for returns volumes, how should retailers handle returns? In this next article, Econsultancy have rounded up 15 best practice tips from various retailers.

Why a mobile-friendly website is essential to a successful SEO strategy in 2015

Moving onto search news, this article from Search Engine Watch looks at the importance of having a mobile-friendly website in order to have a successful SEO strategy in 2015 .

Press releases are not an SEO strategy

This next article from Clickz explores how press releases and press release websites are not an SEO strategy and explores how you can get much better results contacting journalists directly.

Why SEOs Need To Care About User Experience

Next up, URL profiler looks at how Google doesn’t really care about SEOs and that they only really care about user experience and optimising the experience of Google for their users.

The Future of Google’s Search Algorithm: Refinement Vs. Overhaul

To finish of this week, some interesting reading from Search Engine Land on Google’s search algorithm and specifically where Google search is headed and the signals it relies on.

That’s it for this week!

The Weekly Shop (24th – 28th Nov)

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we’re talking Black Friday and Cyber Monday, updates on Twitter and Facebook’s ‘buy’ button and what we mean by the term ‘insight.’ Plus, the chance to win Fortnum & Mason  hampers when you complete our first Premium Panel survey.

Researchers predict Cyber Monday spending will top £500m; eBay says its big day will fall the day before

Cyber Monday takes place this coming Monday and new research has predicted that British etailers will together take more than half a billion pounds for the first time during the course of the day. That’s 11.4% up on the same time last year.

Facebook and Twitter won’t be able to check ‘buy buttons’ off their holiday wishlists

This week Facebook and Twitter announced that the “buy” buttons they have been testing since the summer won’t be introduced in time for the Christmas rush. The social media giants stated that this is because they want to ensure that they create the “right tool” before making it available to everyone.

What do we mean when we want “Insight”?

This next article from Clickz looks at what the term “insight” really means when it comes to marketing and if we using it in the correct way.

The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?

At the end of every month we round-up the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail according to our Premium Panel. This month our panel has been getting excited about Anya’s Hindmarch’s bespoke collection, Liberty of London’s mobile loyalty app and some very luxurious advent calendars! Head over to our blog to find out more.

Take our survey and WIN a Christmas hamper from Fortnum & Mason!

This week saw our first Premium Panel survey go live. If you’d like to get involved, just answer these questions about your Christmas shopping and you’ll automatically be entered into our prize draw to win one of three decadent Fortnum & Mason ‪Christmas hampers worth up to £150. We’ll even make sure they’re delivered in time for Christmas Day! Click here to take the survey.
See you next week!


The Weekly Shop (17th – 22nd Nov)

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we take a look at the different between omnichannel and multichannel marketing, how Pinterest plans to become the go-to place for retail browsing, how to gt creative with your content marketing and guest checkout best practices.

In Pursuit of the universal customer experience: omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing

Our first article this week comes from Clickz and explores the difference between multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing and which one should marketers be striving for.

Pinterest looks to pre-empt search and become go-to place for retail browsing

Pinterest has recently announced that it is stepping up its game to become the go-to place for retail browsing in a bid to take a slice of Google and Amazon’s e-commerce marketshare. Pinterest’s head site engineer has claimed that the company is looking to redefine how consumers find goods online and that Pinterest is in a prime position to target consumers with promoted pins.

15 per cent of Black Friday sales set to take place prior to 9am

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, Rakuten Marketing has conducted some research and found that 23% of sales on Black Friday happen between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, with 26 per cent of sales on Cyber Monday (the first Monday of December) happening during this time. However, the research, based on data from over 350 leading brands, found that despite this being the key time, retailers need to be set early, with early birds beginning their shop at 6am.

Be our guest: a guide to ecommerce guest checkout best practice

This next article from Econsultancy looks at guest checkout best practice and provides some useful tips on how you can improve your guest checkout process.

How to get creative with your content marketing

To finish off this week, an article from our very own senior social media and content consultant, Ben, who has provided his top five tips to get creative with your content marketing for those times when you might be suffering from ‘creative block.’

See you next week!

The Weekly Shop (10th – 14th Nov)

In our Weekly Shop this week, we look at Christmas planning, retail tech trends, how Google judges quality content and two case studies from Selfridges and Liberty.

Small and medium-sized retailers to start Christmas promotions earlier this year

A study by Royal Mail has found that the UK’s small and medium sized online retailers are planning to start Christmas promotions this week – which is one week later than last year. The study also found that price promotion was the most common tactic set to be deployed in the battle to win sales this Christmas followed by free delivery and returns.

Retail tech trends for the 2014 holiday season

While on the topic of Christmas,  Econsultancy have rounded up a selection of retail tech trends for the 2014 holiday season to help you end 2014 strong.

New study: this year’s Black Friday set to be the busiest yet

Another new study this week has suggested that this year’s Black Friday on 28 November could be the busiest and most successful yet. The study found that more retailers are looking to invest in the discount day than last year and shoppers are actively anticipating the day to start their Christmas shopping.

How Selfridges uses digital to create extraordinary multichannel experiences

According to Selfridges, a multichannel retailer dealing in the luxury end of the market, they have to offer customers’ connected and extraordinary experiences’ across its digital and physical properties. In light of this, our next article this week summarises some of the tactics Selfridges uses as part of its multichannel strategy.

Liberty launches Instagram-based loyalty app

Luxury London department store, Liberty, is the first retailer to trial an iPhone app that will reward customers in the store with the use of iBeacons. As customers enter Liberty, iBeacons will trigger the app – named Tapestry – to unlock vouchers to be used in store. The app will use the users Instagram data to curate the vouchers available to the a customer and create a bespoke reward system.
Tapestry app

How does Google judge quality content?

In our last article this week, Econsultancy identify five key factors that you should focus on if you want to produce content that search engines will recognise as high quality.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (3rd – 7th Nov)

In the Weekly Shop this week – how maximise your online sales this Christmas, why Christmas begins early for online retailers and how the UK is among the most desirable retail markets.

It’s not too late to maximise online sales this Christmas

Christmas is a key time for many retailers and brands. Therefore, it is important to ensure your website is up to scratch in order to maximise sales. In light of this, our website optimisation manager, Suze, has provided some recommendations to help you maximise your online sales this Christmas.

Why Christmas begins early for online retailers

Next up is an article from Econsultancy which explores why Christmas begins early for online retailers following research that has shown that the festive season is the best time to acquire top-end customers, not just one-off seasonal purchasers.

Average UK high street to get £1.3m boost this Christmas due to Click & Collect

Research by eBay and retail analysts Conlumino have predicted a boost of £1m for British high streets this Christmas due to shoppers making three additional shopping trips each to collect parcels bought via Click & Collect.

UK among the most desirable retail markets as more consumers buy internationally

Another study this week has shown how almost 40% of shoppers have now bought from an ecommerce retailer in another country and that the UK is one of the most desirable places from which to buy, alongside the US and Germany.

Six Reasons To Fire Your SEO Agency

We finish off this week with an article from Search Engine Land that distinguishes a good search optimisation agency from a not-so-good one.

Thanks for reading!

The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?

Welcome to The Hype – a monthly digest of the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail, hand-picked by our Premium Panel.

Selfridges launches new £40m website

Selfridges new website

This month Selfridges launched their new website as part of a £40m investment to bring their online presence in line with the experience people have of the brand in-store. The new website features a clean, minimal design with new options such as a quick view of products and wish list functionality. Content has been given greater prominence on the homepage and the site is fully responsive across mobile and tablet to cater for the 60% of traffic they receive from those channels. Our Premium Panel loved the sleek new design, but felt the desktop version wasn’t as user friendly as it could have been have been as iPad and mobile sites had been given greater preference.

Planning to shop on the new website? Don’t forget that there is a £50 Selfridges voucher up for grabs for one of our Premium Panel members this month. For a chance to win, join the Panel before the 30th October.

Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M revealed in full

Alexander Wang for H&M

Alexander Wang’s collaboration with H&M is being touted as one of the hottest high street collaborations to date.

Although the range doesn’t hit stores until November, the hype has been building as H&M and Wang have been drip-feeding us sneak previews of the forthcoming collection. Earlier in the month, the full lookbook and an interactive video landed online, revealing a strong 38 piece collection featuring Wang’s signature sports luxe aesthetic – think scuba, mesh and crop tops, all emblazoned with the designer’s graphic branding.

The collection launches in stores and online on the 6th November. If H&M’s previous designer collaborations are anything to go by, you’ll need to be up at the crack of dawn for inevitable queuing or frantic webpage refreshing in order to get your mitts on a piece.

Is fashion being dictated by technology?

If you’ve recently upgraded to iPhone 6 Plus or another ‘Phablet’ of choice, then you’ve probably discovered that the days of casually popping your phone in your pocket are long gone. To combat this problem, fashion brands including J. Crew, Lee Jeans, Levi’s, L.L. Bean and American Eagle are rumoured to be considering designing larger pockets on their garments to accommodate the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus

Jimmy Choo launches online customisation service

Luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo has just launched an online personalisation service which allows customers the ability to design their very own bespoke pair of Choos.

The made-to-order service allows customers to choose one of four iconic silhouettes and customise them by choosing from an array of heel heights, colours and materials. For the finishing touch, the brand will also add a monogram of your initials to the soles. Even if you’re not in the market for a £475+ pair of Choos, it’s easy to while away hours playing shoe designer on the website and creating different combinations. The shoes take around 9-11 weeks to be created and delivered, so there may be just enough time to pop a pair on your Christmas list!

Jimmy Choo

Shop Direct unveils launch plans for luxury site

This month also saw Shop Direct reveal that it will launch its luxury spin-off site during London Fashion Week next February. will span women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty and will sell both ‘accessible luxury’ and ‘high street luxury’ from brands including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and McQ. The retailer will also allow customers to purchase items using their credit account and spread the cost over three months interest-free, meaning that these ‘luxury’ pieces will become much more accessible. Our Premium Panel is particularly excited about being able to invest in designer classics such as bags and shoes and have the option to spread the cost. We’re also interested to see how the experience of buying through will compare to purchasing through the designers themselves.

Very Exclusive

Cara Delevinge launches range for DKNY and scouts models from Instagram

October also saw model-of-the-moment Cara Delevinge add yet another string to her already impressive bow by designing a capsule collection for DKNY.

Her collection features 15 sports-tastic unisex garments, all featuring details with “a special meaning to Cara”. Cara also called upon her Instagram followers to post pictures of themselves to their Instagram feeds with the tag #CaraD4DKNY and #CaraWantsYou to help her scout six budding models to join her in New York for the shoot.

Cara Delevinge DKNY

The full collection is available to buy via, Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols.

Fashion gets furry

There’s one trend that always comes back around when the temperature starts to drop, and that’s faux fur. However, this season we’ve seen a new spin on the trend pop up in the form of furry arm candy. Our Panelist, Bethanie, has her eye on this amazing version by Diane Von Furstenberg, but if you can’t stretch to this, there are plenty of more affordable versions on popping up on the high street.

Furry clutches

Image source: Pandora Sykes

That’s it for The Hype this month. Have you spotted anything we’ve missed? Please do let us know over on the Premium Panel Facebook group.

See you next month!

*Leapfrogg’s Premium Panel is a collection of like-minded premium consumers sharing insight into their shopping behaviours and expectations from premium and luxury brands. If you have a passion for premium retail, love luxe and get excited by exclusives, join our Premium Panel over on Facebook. Alternatively, email us on to be added to the mailing list.


The Weekly Shop (20th – 24th October)

In The Weekly Shop this week – three keys to omni-channel success, the launch of a new biometric contactless payment card and our Premium Panelists tell on how delivery contributes to a good customer experience.

Content, convenience and customer service: three keys to omni-channel success

According to Drazena Ivicic from Intershop there are three areas that are key to omni-channel success: convenience, content, and customer service. In her opinion, getting these three Cs right is key to successfully engaging with the customer and driving sales.

Amazon launches same day collection service

Following the news last week that Amazon were opening their first physical store – the etailer has just announced they are launching a same day collection service in the UK. Customers can order up until 11.45am to collect from 4pm until the closing time of their chosen pick-up point which include newsagents and convenience stores. Definitely set to be a game changer this Christmas.

Delivering Customer Happiness

When asked about what makes a good retail experience, in many cases your customers will mention delivery as a key factor. In light of this, we asked we asked our Premium Panel their thoughts on how delivery contributes to a good customer experience which you can read over on our blog. If you want to join the Premium Panel, you can do so here, you might even win a £50 Selfridges voucher if you join before the 30th October.

MasterCard and Zwipe unveil biometric contactless payment card

This week, MasterCard and Zwipe announced the launch of a biometric contactless payment card with integrated fingerprint sensor, which they say will improve security and consumer convenience.

Heresy: Google and SEO Don’t Actually Change that Much

In this next article, Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz shares his views on how Google and SEO Don’t Actually Change that Much. Brilliantly put and worth a read.

A thoroughly entertaining beginner’s guide to data and analytics

To finish this week, a useful glossary from Econsultancy around data and analytics which aims to simplify some of the complicated words, terms and phrases that you’re likely to come up against.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (6th – 10th October)

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we take a look at how you can build loyalty for customer retention, paid, owned and earned media, innovations that are set to change retail and how searchers user behaviours are evolving.

10 loyalty-building strategies for customer retention

Ongoing profit from a customer’s lifetime value is generally much higher than any one single transaction. However, in order to achieve higher customer lifetime values, you need to have some strong customer retention strategies in place which Econsultancy have round up in this article.

What’s the difference between paid, owned and earned media?

Next up, is a useful refresher on the difference between paid, owned and earned media and how SEO fits into the three categories.

The four disruptive innovations set to change retail

Our next article this week looks at four trends that are set to change retail, including payments, logistics, computing platforms and marketplaces.

New Google eye tracking study shows the downfall of the golden triangle

A new Google eye tracking study from Mediative has shown how the evolution of the Google search results from 2005 to today has resulted in searcher looking outside of the ‘golden triangle,’ which is the term used to describe how searchers looked at Google search page results in 2005.

The evolution of SERPs and user behaviors

Following on from the article above, this article from Clickz takes a more in-depth look into the study from Mediative and how SERPS and user behaviours are evolving.

7 obsolete SEO tactics you’re wasting your time on

And to finish off this week, a useful reminder on how SEO has changed over the years and how some of the old tactics will result in stagnant traffic and may actually cause your traffic to drop.

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