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A quarter of Brits planning to start Christmas shopping this month

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

3 Aug 2021

Retail

Image: Pexels by Freestocks.org

New research has revealed that 25 percent of Brits say that they will have started thinking about Christmas shopping before the end of August.

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas by Censuswide, commissioned by eBay Ads UK, reveals that people are feeling more optimistic about Christmas 2021 as they anticipate a “more ordinary” festive season than last year. Three in five respondents (60 percent) feel optimistic that they will be able to celebrate as usual this Christmas, while half (49 percent) think that this Christmas will feel traditional and plan to do what they always do, and a quarter (25 percent) feel Christmas will be more exciting this year – up from just 16 percent in 2020.

This positivity could prompt people to prepare for Christmas earlier this year, with 27 percent of respondents planning to start Christmas shopping and preparations earlier than they did last year, while 41 percent state that they will have finished their Christmas shopping before December even starts. In comparison, when asked the same question in 2020, only 25 percent of consumers said they would plan to finish Christmas shopping before December.

The research also added that while people report having spent slightly less, on average, on Christmas presents and celebrations in 2020, 527.88 pounds compared to 2019 with 551.34 pounds, this year 30 percent of consumers are planning to spend more, with only 15 percent saying they will spend less. This is more optimistic than in 2020 when only 13 percent said they would spend more, and 31 percent said they would spend less.

However, despite this optimism, many people are still worried about further disruption due to Covid-19. Nearly half (45 percent) are putting off making plans for Christmas until the last minute, and 30 percent are so worried about more disruption that they might even celebrate Christmas early with friends or family.

Harmony Murphy, general manager advertising UK at eBay, said in a statement: “After so much stress and disruption over the past year and a half, and last Christmas especially, it’s brilliant to see Brits are finally feeling more hopeful about this year’s festive celebrations – albeit cautiously.

“To make the most of the opportunity this presents, brands need to start engaging with customers early on to ensure they are front of mind when it’s time to purchase. And, taking into account ongoing uncertainty, brands should also look to tap into the mindsets of their customers to make sure they are interacting with them in meaningful and relevant ways – however they are feeling this Christmas.”

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