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How top Xmas product lists are shaping online behaviour

With Christmas just under two months away, our latest insight report looks at how big retailers are using top Xmas product lists to help supercharge their festive Digital strategies.

Argos and John Lewis are two retailers which excel at this. They have both been creating lists of the must-have Christmas toys for years, which are always eagerly anticipated and get published widely across the national press.

Therefore, we started by looking at how online demand for the toys featured on these lists changed once the lists were published. By analysing the volume of Google searches that each toy received for the three months before and three weeks after each list was released, we are able to track any changes.

Argos was first off the mark, publishing it’s Christmas toys list back in June – almost 200 shopping days before Christmas Day. Here we can see that online demand for some of the toys featured, increased by up to 760%:

Argos top Christmas toys list 2018

John Lewis published it’s list in September, which also sent demand soaring for most of the toys listed:

John Lewis 2018 top Christmas toys list

Evolving online shopping behaviour

It’s clear that the products featured on these lists receive a major boost in online demand. This is because the way we research potential Christmas purchases online is evolving, as a direct result of the popularity of top Xmas product lists.

For example, the volume of searches for the term ‘top Xmas toys’ begins to increase from June and peaks massively the closer we get to Christmas. In addition, search terms like ‘best Christmas toys’ and ‘top toys Christmas’ have also been increasing significantly year on year, as our online shopping behaviour evolves to reflect the popularity of ‘must-have’ lists.

Trending popularity of Christmas "top toys" searches 2014-2018

As a result, many canny retailers have now tuned into this trend, which is why brands as diverse as Costa, Boots, Very and Mothercare have now followed in the footsteps of Argos and John Lewis and produced their own top Xmas products lists. For example:








The study illustrates just how important it is for retailers to closely monitor the latest trend data to enable them to align their content strategies to ensure they are in the running for the most popular searches.

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Words: Tom Gainey

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