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UK shoppers thinking carefully abut Christmas spending as inflation bites

eBay Ads UK’s latest Christmas Spend Trends research report has found that the impact of inflation means consumers will be prioritising value for money and thoughtful gifting this festive season and are planning to be more organised.

The research, which surveyed 2,010 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas, found that a third (32%) of consumers are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year, with three in ten (29%) shoppers planning to start before the end of August. Such appetite to get going is unsurprising given the current context, as almost a third (30%) credit this early start to the impact of inflation on Christmas shopping. 

What’s more, shoppers are set to prioritise gifts that add value to their loved ones’ lives. Over half (56%) plan to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family this year. Meanwhile, three in ten (30%) say they plan to buy functional gifts and almost a quarter (23%) will buy essential items for presents, suggesting a preference for purchasing gifts that are useful at a time when many Brits are struggling to afford everyday items. 

Brits value bang for their buck

As inflation prompts people to tighten their purse strings, six in ten consumers (60%) report that good value for money is the most important factor when it comes to shopping for Christmas goods this year.

Similarly, three in ten (29%) Brits say they’re planning to spend less on Christmas this year, with gift giving looking set to bear the brunt, as almost a third of consumers (31%) say they plan to buy fewer gifts this year compared to last. Festive frivolities will also take a hit, with a quarter (24%) intending to spend less on Christmas celebration items such as food, decorations, and parties. 

With the cost of living in mind it’s no surprise that consumers’ Christmas spirits have been dampened – one in five consumers (20%) say they expect to feel stressed this Christmas, a marked increase from one in seven (14%) last year. However, hope is still high, as half (52%) of consumers are optimistic that they’ll be able to celebrate Christmas as usual this year, and over a quarter (27%) think Christmas will feel exciting and a big occasion to look forward to. 

Additionally, there are still plenty of opportunities for brands and retailers during traditional retail moments, as half (50%) of consumers say they plan to take advantage of offers and deals this Black Friday to save money on gifts.

Upasana Gupta, GM, eBay ads UK, commented: “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. 

“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.”

Read the full eBay Ads UK Christmas spend trends 2022 report here.

Research

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