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UK consumers get a head start on Christmas shopping

By Lauren Fruncillo October 28, 2021 - 11:00 am

Bazaarvoice has revealed data exploring the Christmas shopping habits of consumers in Europe, North America, and Australia during this years’ Golden Quarter.

Christmas shopping is becoming immune to COVID-19

Christmas shopping seems to be going back to normal. Although some admit their planned holiday spending has been impacted by the pandemic, 81% are still planning to buy holiday gifts as normal this year.

The most important factor consumers will consider when buying gifts this year is cost followed by getting good value and whether the product is in stock. This has become particularly important as British consumers grow nervous about how recent supply chain difficulties will affect store shelves.

Supply chain disruption means there is greater incentive for consumers to plan ahead this year. As such, brands and retailers need to start decking their halls as soon as possible; almost a third of respondents said they’re starting their holiday shopping earlier this year, while 52% said they’re starting at the same time as usual. In fact, more than half of respondents will have already started their holiday shopping by now.

Holiday shopping will still happen online

Despite the re-opening of physical retail in the second half of this year, the holiday season will still see the impact of the pandemic-induced surge in e-commerce. Over half of respondents said they’re shopping online now more than they were pre-COVID. This is also reflected in where respondents said they will be shopping for holiday gifts this year, with in-store becoming less of a priority; while 60% shopped at a physical store for holiday gifts in the past, only 53% will do so this year, a 7% drop.

Getting friends and family out of the house

This year, UK consumers are planning to purchase fewer physical products (i.e. clothes, perfume, toys) than they did in 2020 (down by 2%), in favour of buying more experiential gifts such as concert tickets and trips (up by 7%) and services such as massages and facials (up by 3%).

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