More than half of UK consumers start Christmas shopping early - Bazaarvoice report
Festive spending patterns in the UK looks to be back to normal, with 81% of consumers planning to buy Christmas gifts this year, according to research from Bazaarvoice.
Despite 37% admitting their planned festive spend has been impacted by the pandemic, 60% plan to spend the same amount over the season as last year, while 15% plan to spend more.
The most important factor consumers will consider when buying gifts this year is cost (59%), followed by getting good value (52%) and whether the product is in stock (43%), an important number given current supply chain difficulties.
“Supply chain disruption means there is greater incentive for consumers to plan ahead this year”, the report notes, showing 31% of respondents saying they’ve starting their holiday shopping earlier.
In fact, 52% will have already started their festive shopping with 25% having planned to kick off their spending in October alone. Over a third (36%) still plan to start in November, and just 13% said they’re going to put it off until December.
Given the effect of the pandemic on shopping habits, 55% 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 gifts this year, with in-store becoming less of a priority. While 60% shopped at a physical store for gifts in the past, only 53% will do so this year.
When deciding between two gifts, price (66%) is again the biggest factor, however knowing the product will meet expectations is also a priority, with customer reviews (39%), the product rating (28%) and description (27%) next in terms of importance.
And when it comes to choice of gift, beauty (59%) is the most popular category. However this year, UK consumers are planning to purchase fewer physical products (clothes, perfume, toys) albeit by only 2% than they did in 2020 and are more willing to give their friends and families the gift of in-person experiences, the report noted.
“There’s a lot of pressure on brands and retailers to deliver this holiday season, particularly after last year’s retail closures during the golden quarter. Concerns over delivery times and stock availability are very real and consumers are preparing well in advance to ensure there will be no dramatic impact on celebrations”, said Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice.
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