Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Aussies shopping earlier, but cutting back on purchases this Christmas

Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies’ (ACRS) research unit has released its report on Christmas retail trends.

This year’s report found 55% of surveyed Aussies now start their shopping one or more months in advance. The remaining 45% start in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

To take the stress out of choosing a gift, 64% of respondents plan to give money to adults and children. Similarly, 41% indicated they will be purchasing gift cards and vouchers as part of their Christmas shopping.

Although sentiment for buying gifts this year is strong, research suggests that shoppers are planning to purchase fewer products in every category this year. This, says ACRS, aligns with the recent Spotlight on Sustainability research indicating Australian consumers are reducing overall products purchased.

The most popular two categories for gifting this year both trended downwards since last year. Clothing, footwear and accessories are 47%, down from 58% in 2021. Toys and games products are sitting at 38% this year, down from 47% in 2021.

Regarding payment, 59% of respondents intend to use debit cards for Christmas purchases, followed by credit cards at 40%, and cash unsurprisingly lower at 31%. Buy Now, Pay Later schemes are going to be used by one in five respondents.

Marking the end of the retail “silly season”, Boxing Day sales are still returning favourable results, according to ACRS. The report finds that in comparison to other sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it remains the top sales event with 37% of respondents planning to take advantage of the sales this year.

This is higher than the report found last year, with only 30% of shoppers taking part in Boxing Day sales in 2021.

“On the back of months of cost-of-living increases and interest rate rises, it’s no surprise that more shoppers are going to shop at sales events this year compared to 2021,” says the report’s lead author Dr Eloise Zoppos, principal research consultant and research fellow in the ACRS research unit.

“Christmas may be starting earlier than ever, but these sales keep the Christmas spirit going.”

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