UK consumers are the biggest spenders on Christmas presents throughout Europe with an average spend of £291.60. This is £50 greater than their nearest European rivals, and even with Brexit looming, 84 percent of those surveyed said it won’t affect spending this Christmas.
The new research commissioned by media technology company Oath surveyed 2,000 European residents, including around 1,000 in the UK, and compared how differently France, Germany, Italy and Spain prepare for the festive period finding that each spend on average £241.75, £208.73, £201 and £237.64 respectively.
The survey, conducted by Global Web Index also found that UK consumers leave nothing to chance when Christmas gift shopping with nearly 20 percent starting to plan their gift buying in September, increasing to 70 percent before December. Moreover, only 5 percent of the UK claim to be last minute spenders, leaving their shopping until less than 2 weeks before Christmas Day. And with seasonal discount periods becoming more popular, it may come as a surprise to find that as many as 40 percent of respondents don’t wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start spending their hard earned cash on presents.
A staggering 1 in 4 millennials say they will be purchasing a virtual reality (VR) headset (as a gift or for themselves) this Christmas, whilst 4 in 10 UK consumers are planning to buy a tech gadget (most likely to be wireless headphones). Clothing (58 percent) appears to be top of the list for gifts this Christmas, followed closely by toys & games (51 percent) and food & drink (5 percent).
During the yuletide gift shopping period 87 percent of UK consumers plan to do their gift shopping online. This is in comparison to 73 percent of their European counterparts. Whilst 52 percent of those surveyed in the UK further revealed that they rely on the internet for ideas before purchasing items.
When looking at the top three motives for shopping online, 61 percent cited flexibility, 57 percent preferred avoiding the crowds and 55 percent wanted to benefit from cheaper prices online than in-store. On the flipside, 6 in 10 of those who are in-store purchasers, do so because they prefer being able to see and touch the product.
Nigel Clarkson, UK Managing Director, Oath, said: “When it comes to Christmas shopping, UK consumers are clearly planning ahead and with many looking for inspiration online, there are ample opportunities for brands. What’s more exciting, is that VR headsets appear to be a popular purchase for millennials, proving that as more platforms like Microsoft’s Mixed Reality come to the fore, VR is finally reaching the scale tipping point. Oath analyses its own data of over 4 trillion monthly touchpoints from across our portfolio of content, mobile and social brands as well as commissioning external research to provide data-led insights for our clients that enables them to effectively engage with their target audience at the right time and through the right channel.”