It’s Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmas – let the festive shop begin

christmas on the beachNoddy Holder’s famous festive howl might not have hit the airwaves yet but many Brits are already starting their Christmas shopping before the soaring energy bills bite, with value for money and thoughtful gifting replacing food, decorations and parties on the festive menu.

So says the latest eBay Ads UK’s Christmas Spend Trends research, which surveyed 2,010 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas and found that a third (32%) of consumers are planning to start their seasonal shopping earlier than ever.

A recent IPA Insight report claimed 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%). However, eBay Ads suggests consumers will not be waiting that long.

It shows three in ten (29%) shoppers are even planning to start before the end of August, with almost a third (30%) crediting this early start to the impact of inflation on seasonal shopping.

Shoppers are also set to prioritise gifts that add value to their loved ones’ lives. Over half (56%) plan to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family this year. Meanwhile, three in ten (30%) say they plan to buy functional gifts and almost a quarter (23%) will buy essential items for presents, suggesting a preference for purchasing gifts that are useful at a time when many Brits are struggling to afford everyday items.

As inflation prompts people to tighten their purse strings, six in ten consumers (60%) report that good value for money is the most important factor when it comes to shopping for Christmas goods this year.

Similarly, three in ten (29%) say they are planning to spend less on Christmas this year, with gift giving looking set to bear the brunt, as almost a third of consumers (31%) say they plan to buy fewer gifts this year compared to last. Festive frivolities will also take a hit, with a quarter (24%) intending to spend less on Christmas celebration items such as food, decorations and parties.

With the cost of living in mind it is perhaps no surprise that consumers’ Christmas spirits have been dampened – one in five (20%) say they expect to feel stressed this Christmas, a marked increase from one in seven (14%) last year.

However, hope is still high, as half (52%) of consumers are optimistic that they will be able to celebrate Christmas as usual this year, and over a quarter (27%) think Christmas will feel exciting and a big occasion to look forward to.

Additionally, there are still plenty of opportunities for brands and retailers during traditional retail moments, eBay Ads insists, as half (50%) of consumers say they plan to take advantage of offers and deals this Black Friday to save money on gifts.

eBay ads UK general manager Upasana Gupta commented: “Christmas is approaching and although it’s undeniably set to be a tricky time for many consumers and businesses alike, there’s also still plenty of opportunities for brands and sellers across categories – especially those that are prepared to start engaging shoppers early on in the season.

“Indeed, traditional retail moments such as Black Friday remain important, businesses must be ready to reach people as they start to shop – with some starting as early as this month.

“With many Brits more stressed and worried about their finances this Christmas, it’s clear that businesses need to be particularly sensitive to their moods and needs and adapt strategies accordingly. As well as appealing to their desire for good value, this means supporting shoppers in their quest to find the most special, meaningful or functional products that will help make this Christmas a merry one.”

Related stories
Consumers beat retail to start festive shopping early
Spooner on: The Ghost of Christmas Overdone, 2021
Beginning to look a lot like eXmas, everywhere you go…
Come all ye faithful: Retailers missing a trick on loyalty

Print Friendly