Consumers beat retail to start festive shopping early

online_shopping2Retailers are often accused of pushing Christmas shopping ideas far too early but it seems this year Brits will be beating them to it, with many consumers planning to have it all wrapped up way before December even arrives.

That is according to a new nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium, which reveals close to half (44%) of all Brits intend to have their festive shopping done before Black Friday and even more (48%) expect to spend none of their festive budget during the sales.

Detailed in the new IPA Insight report “Christmas amidst the Crunch”, the findings show that the first half of November (19%) and September-October (17%) will be the most popular times for Christmas shopping, followed by the first week of December (15%) and the second half of November (13%).

Only 16% of people still plan to be shopping in the second week of December and beyond, while 8% of Brits intend to have their shopping completed by the end of August.

Just under a quarter (23%) of people are looking to do the majority of their shopping in-store and 29% of adults intend to do their shopping entirely online; 18 to 24s are most likely to shop in-store (28%) while 45 to 54s are most likely to shop exclusively online (34%).

In addition to looking at shopping plans and habits, the research explores what people are hoping to give and receive, general feelings and worries for the Christmas period and attitudes to the FIFA World Cup taking place this winter.

It found that more than half (53%) of Brits think it will be a stressful Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis, while a further 37% believe it will be stressful due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Almost a quarter (23%) of adults are planning on gifting cash, with a further 46% considering it as a gift-giving option this year and 40% plan to be more sustainable this Christmas, up from 36% in 2021.

The charity sector is also set to benefit, with a third (34%) of people considering gifting a charity donation, and 11% already planning to do so.

Meanwhile, nearly two in five (38%) of adults believe the World Cup will dominate the Christmas build-up this year, while the same percentage (38%) agree that the timing will prove to be an inconvenience. Even so, 36% of Londoners believe that the World Cup will give them inspiration for buying festive gifts.

IPA head of insight Damian Lord said: “With a winter World Cup, the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis, Christmas 2022 is going to like no other.

“There’s an understandable belt-tightening across the board but people are still looking for interesting and imaginative gifts and ways to spread good will with their loved ones.

“Christmas amidst the Crunch shows that there are plenty of opportunities for advertisers to make a splash with consumers, and will help brands and agencies capture the mood of the nation in the build up to Christmas.”

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