10 Facts about Christmas Spending 2012

We recently conducted a survey on over 2000 UK consumers asking about their planned Christmas spending this year compared to Christmas 2011. (Check out our infographic here)

Here are our 10 facts about this years’ festive shopper:

1.       Special Offers are the most important way of cutting costs this Christmas.  

69% of shoppers plan to buy more products on special offer this Christmas compared to last year. One area where special offers will be especially important in helping shoppers to cut costs will be on the price of their Christmas dinner, since half of shoppers plan to spend less on food for Christmas this year. A recent survey by the Sunday Times newspaper reports that the cost of many Christmas dinner favourites, such as turkeys and potatoes have risen by up to 24% on last years’ price, which suggests that special offers may be the main way of not only reducing costs but also avoiding food becoming even more expensive this Christmas.

2.       64% of shoppers will spend more time shopping around for the best price this Christmas (both in- store and online).  

Consumers are constantly changing how they shop and with mobile technology now allowing consumers to browse in-store whilst simultaneously looking up prices online (known as Omni-channel) it is crucial that retailers also adapt to provide shoppers with a multi-channel experience. Showcasing, whereby consumers will browse products in-store and then purchase online to achieve a better price is also increasing, and poses a threat to high street retailers, was Curry’s a victim of showcasing?

3.        It’s not all doom and gloom though, with 1 in 4 actually planning to spend more this Christmas compared to last year. 

This is mostly found amongst younger shoppers (18-34 years olds) suggesting that amongst this age group the austerity years are making people less concerned about spending, or could it be that Christmas is seen as an opportunity to splash out on family and friends in response to being cautious spenders the rest of the year?

4.       Following the trends, predicted online spend is up, with 60% of consumers planning to make more purchases online this year.  

Monday the 3rd December was named the UK’s Cyber Monday, predicted to be the biggest day for online shopping in the lead up to Christmas. A survey by Experian reported a 32% rise in online sales on this day compared to the equivalent day in 2011. This reflects the need for better offers and prices for retailers to secure sales, especially at the beginning of the festive period where online shopping is likely to be highest in order to ensure delivery by Christmas.

5.       Christmas cheer is still alive and well, with few shoppers planning to spend less on Children this year (23%). 

In contrast over half of shoppers plan to spend less on adults, proving that Christmas is still one for the kids!

6.       Less Socialising this Christmas

With 47% of consumers planning to spend less on going out and socialising this Christmas, this could have a knock on effect on Pubs and Restaurants over the coming weeks.

7.       50% of consumers are planning to send fewer cards this year. 

Despite an increase in postal deliveries due to rises in online shopping, one thing that might be coming through your post box less this year are Christmas cards. With the cost of  1st Class stamps increasing by 34% this year  this is perhaps unsurprising as a way of helping to cut costs.

8.       Bargain Hunters. 

Surprisingly just under a third of shoppers actually plan to make Christmas purchases after the event in order to make the most of the sales. This is most likely to be amongst those with Children under 18.

9.        Social Network users are more likely to be looking for ways to cut costs generally this Christmas. 

This is particularly found to be the case amongst those who regularly go online via a PC to use social media compared to those using their phones or tablet devices.

10.      The death of the high street is less evident in London. 

Vibrant shopping appears to be important in London with the highest reports of people planning to buy more in-store this year (32%).

For more information and a full set of tables please contact me at rhutchins@marketing-science.com

Sources :

Data was collected from Marketing Sciences online panel 1st -2nd December 2012 with 2031 UK consumers from a nationally representative sample.

Findings from Sunday Times survey : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/9653993/Cost-of-Christmas-up-more-than-10pc-this-year.html

Experian: http://press.experian.com/United-Kingdom/Press-Release/cyber-monday-sets-new-online-retail-record.aspx

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Becky Hutchins
01962 842211
Article date - 17/12/2012
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