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Christmas shoppers conduct most of their purchase decisions over 'dark social'

Tyrone Stewart

Christmas shopping centre80 per cent of Christmas shoppers will share holiday-related content, such as gift recommendations and requests, through what is known as ‘dark social’.

Dark social is when people communicate directly via one-to-one email or instant messaging and, according to research from ad tech company RadiumOne, is the biggest missed opportunity in marketing.

It was found that consumers share 30 per cent more content online over the Christmas period – and 72 per cent of this is shared via dark social. 50 per cent of those sharing through private channels are sharing technology gift ideas, while 33.3 per cent are sharing fashion gift ideas. Half of those that shared tech gift ideas went on to make a purchase versus 33 per cent of those sharing fashion gift ideas.

“Sharing behaviour is an indicator of consumer intent and the most likely moment they’ll interact with a brand,” said Craig Tuck, UK managing director at RadiumOne. “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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