2112-ec-holiday-hangover-blog2

Consumer behaviour: Online shopping on Christmas Day? Brits got an early start on Boxing Day sales

Would you hit the shops in the midst of holiday celebrations? With the stores just a tap away on their smartphones, that’s the question we posed to Brits ahead of the 2021 holidays. The results showed that celebration, family time and dinner were not as sacred as in the past, with people planning to go online to shop at all times of the day. Now, post the holidays, Boxing Day showed that physical retail sales drastically decreased in comparison to previous years due to Omicron concerns1, while online took a greater share of the pie. Online shopping presents boundless opportunities to shop, so read on to learn what the survey revealed about British consumer behaviour.

Key findings

  • Two in five (41%) Brits intended to online shop on Christmas Day this year

  • The average time to shop for those people was at 11.44 am on Christmas Day
    For 16–24-year-olds it was 8.56 am – with a considerable number of people actually getting a head start just after midnight before even going to sleep. 

  • 28% of Christmas Day online shoppers intended to start browsing when the Christmas Dinner was cooking. It’s easy to get the phone out when waiting for the food to be ready, isn’t it?

  • The Christmas Day shoppers on average thought they would wait just 2 hours 15 mins after opening their last present to go online and add to their shopping basket

  • The shoppers said they would spend an average of £144.19 online shopping on Christmas Day, and once again, the 16–24-year-olds stood out by estimating more: an average of £200.07

Why do people start shopping on Christmas Day then? 

Reasons vary, but who isn’t keen to score a good deal? The survey showed that these are the top 5 reasons for British shoppers to start splurging already on Christmas Day:

  • To make the most of the deals (40%)

  • To spend money gifted to them (29%) 

  • To buy gifts for people they’re seeing after Christmas Day (25%)

  • To buy the presents they actually wanted (20%)

  • to get away from their spouse (11%) and because they’re bored (11%)

The most popular categories? Clothes (49%), technology and gadgets (27%) and accessories (26%) topped the list of items Brits put into their baskets. There’s probably no surprise that women were more interested in buying clothes, however, what is perhaps startling is the gap between men and women on this point: 63% of women to only 34% of men were likely to buy clothes on Christmas Day. On the other hand, men were more likely to buy technology (34%) to women’s 19%. 

 

Men

%

Women

%

Tech/gadgets

35

Clothes

63

Clothes

34

Toiletries

33

Entertainment

26

Accessories

30

Anything with a deal

24

Jewelry

27

Accessories

22

Home & furniture

23

 

Learnings for online retailers and marketers? Most people said they’d go searching for good deals themselves on retailers’ websites (61%), followed by admitting to buying as a result of email campaigns (36%). Instagram came in as the third most popular channel leading to online purchases (14%).

In terms of how British shoppers view the payment experience, what do people look for?

As always, the payment experience is important for people when making online purchases. When deciding on how to pay for online purchases on Christmas Day, the top factors for the total population were: which service feels the most secure (40%), which payment method they’ve used before (36%) and the ease of the payment experience (29%)

While security is key for both genders, men seem to be more hesitant to change, with women being more prone to be influenced by rewards or discounts to try something new. 

Motivations for choosing payment method

#

Men

%

1

Feels secure

40

2

Method I've used before

39

3

Easy payment experience

25

4

Offers rewards

23

5

I get a discount with a certain payment method

19

6

I don't need to move to get my wallet

17

7

I can pay with my bank app

16

8

It's the first option

12

   
 

Women

%

1

Feels secure

41

2

Easy payment experience

33

3

I get a discount with a certain payment method

33

4

Method I've used before

32

5

Offers rewards

30

6

I can pay with my bank app

26

7

I don't need to move to get my wallet

17

8

It's the first option

12

 

Finally, do people change their minds? 

Yes, yes they do. 42% of people buying online on Christmas Day said they were likely to be drunk or tipsy when they made the purchase, which could explain why half (49%) of respondents that usually shop online on Christmas Day admit to having made regrettable purchases. Most of us can probably identify with buying something we don’t really need. In fact, 40% of Brits have asked for a refund between Christmas day and New Year in previous years. Interestingly, 6% of adult Brits – an estimated 3.1 million – ask for a refund because they broke up with the person they bought the present for. This in itself, perhaps calls for some retail therapy to soften the relationship blow. 

How do you, as a retailer, soften the return and refund blow of the holidays? Check out our paper on nursing the “Holiday Hangover”.

 

Methodology:

  • Trustly surveyed over 1,000 nationally representative Brits between 22-23rd December using research agency Censuswide

 

1 The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/26/britons-shy-away-from-boxing-day-sales-amid-concern-over-omicron-variant
  • e-commerce