As inflation and the cost-of-living crisis takes its toll, UK consumers are going to prioritise value for money and thoughtful gifting, while being generally more organised, this festive season, according to research from eBay Ads UK.
The survey of 2,010 UK consumers found that 32% of people will be starting their Christmas shopping earlier than last, with 29% planning to start before August ends. 30% of these consumers point to the impact of inflation on Christmas shopping as being their reason for starting early.
In addition, 56% of shoppers plan to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family, while 30% will buy functional gifts, and 23% will buy essential items as presents, suggesting that consumers will prioritise gifts that add value to the lives of their loved ones, particularly at a time when people are struggling to afford everyday items.
Those buying gifts will also be paying close attention to their own finances, with 60% stating that good value for money is the most important factor when it comes to buying Christmas goods. At the same time, 29% are planning to spend less on Christmas this year, as 31% will buy fewer gifts compared to last year. 24% of consumers also plan to spend less on celebration items, such as food and decorations.
Nonetheless, despite the financial pressures facing consumers, there is will still be plenty of opportunities for brands and retailers this year, because half (50%) of consumers said they are planning to take advantage of offers and deals this Black Friday to save money on gifts.
“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,” said Upasana Gupta, GM at eBay Ads UK.
“With many Brits more stressed and worried about their finances this Christmas, 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.”