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Finances post pandemic could lead to a tale of two Christmases

By Chris Dawson September 16, 2021 - 10:50 am

New research released today by eBay Ads UK reveals the extreme ways in which Covid-19 has impacted people’s finances over the last 18 months, and how this will likely result in very different consumer mindsets, priorities and shopping behaviours in the lead-up to Christmas.

The survey, which polled 2,000 Brits that celebrate Christmas found that their finances varied drastically. Over a quarter (26%) of respondents have less disposable income compared to pre-pandemic, as opposed to a fifth (19%) with more disposable income. Over half of brits (55%) report having the same amount of disposable income as pre-pandemic.

With just 100 days to go until Christmas, eBay Ads UK is advising brands to consider the wide-ranging impact of the pandemic on consumer’s experiences and mindsets and take a mindful approach to targeting shoppers as we rapidly approach the festive season.

More disposable income means bigger spend and celebrations

Unsurprisingly, those consumers that report healthier finances compared to pre-pandemic plan to spend more on Christmas and have bigger celebrations. Indeed, a quarter (24%) reveal that they plan to put their extra savings towards Christmas presents, and half (50%) say they plan to spend more on Christmas gifts and celebrations this year compared to last year. 24% also expect Christmas to be a bigger celebration this year.

The research also suggests that brands should expect an uptick in interest in big ticket items, with a fifth (19%) of those with more disposable income planning to treat loved ones to extravagant gifts.

Less disposable income means a more considered Christmas

This is in stark contrast to those consumers who reported having less disposable income now compared to pre-pandemic, who are set to have a more considered Christmas. Four in ten (40%) say they would prefer a smaller, quieter Christmas, and unsurprisingly, this group of shoppers is more likely to be thoughtful about gifting as they look to do more with less.

Two thirds (67%) of those with less disposable income say their biggest priority this Christmas will be sourcing gifts which are good value for money – compared to less than half (49%) of those with more disposable income. And, implying an emphasis on friends and family rather than material goods, 58% of respondents with less disposable income also ranked spending time with loved ones as one of their top priorities this Christmas.

“It’s unsurprising that the last 18 months of economic uncertainty has impacted Brits’ finances in extreme ways. Whilst some were lucky enough to stay employed and grow their savings, unfortunately millions became furloughed or redundant – and understandably may have different priorities this festive season.

With 100 days to go until Christmas, brands have an enormous opportunity to engage with excited consumers – however, it’s vital that they take into consideration the vastly different experiences people have lived over the course of the pandemic. Brands need to be mindful of consumers’ varying priorities and mindsets, and carefully tailor messaging and targeting accordingly. This is crucial to demonstrating you really care for your customers this Christmas time.”
– Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK, eBay

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