Britons cautious about Christmas spending - report
It looks like a careful, considered Christmas is on the cards. Consumers are placing more emphasis on value and meaningful gifting as inflation soars, according to new research from eBay Ads UK.
Bad news for retailers is that 29% say they’re planning to spend less on Christmas this year, with gift-giving looking set to bear the brunt, as 31% say they plan to buy fewer gifts this year compared to last.
Unsurprisingly, half of those who celebrate Christmas are concerned about affording gifts and hosting celebrations, prioritising value for money, thoughtful gifting and being more organised.
Indeed, 32% of consumers are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year, with 29% starting before the end of August
Such appetite to get going is unsurprising given the current context, as almost a third (30%) credit this early start to the impact of inflation on Christmas shopping.
Over half (56%) plan to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family this year. Meanwhile, 30% say they plan to buy functional gifts and 23% will buy essential items for presents, “suggesting a preference for purchasing gifts that are useful at a time when many Britons are struggling to afford everyday items”, the report says.
As inflation prompts people to tighten their purse strings, 60% of consumers report that good value for money is the most important factor when it comes to shopping for Christmas goods this year.
And with concerns growing of the cost of living, it’s also no surprise that 20% say they expect to feel stressed this Christmas, up from14% last year.
But one ray of winter sunshine is that hope is still high. Some 52% of consumers are optimistic they’ll be able to celebrate Christmas as usual this year, and 27% think Christmas “will feel exciting and a big occasion to look forward to”.
Additionally, 50% of consumers say they plan to take advantage of offers and deals this Black Friday to save money on gifts.
Upasana Gupta, GM, eBay ads UK, said: “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 August."
Gupta added: “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.”
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