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Brits to seek “good value for money” on Christmas shopping as inflation soars

Tom Bottomley
25 August 2022

Brits are to have a more considered approach to Christmas shopping this year as inflation takes it toll on spending, placing more emphasis on value and meaningful gifting.

A 60% majority say that good value for money is the most important factor for them when buying presents, while 56% of shoppers plan to buy “thoughtful gifts” for friends and family this year, according to new research from eBay Ads UK with its latest Christmas Spend Trend report.

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.

Almost one third (32%) of Brits are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year, with 29% planning to start before the end of August and 30% crediting the early start to the impact of inflation on Christmas shopping.

Additionally, brands and retailers will do well to promote offers for Black Friday, which falls on 25 November 2022, as 50% of consumers say they plans to take advantage of any deals to save money on gifts.

Upasana Gupta, General Manager, 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.”

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 little 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 over 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.

Gupta added: “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.”

The consumer research was undertaken on behalf of eBay by Censuswide, with fieldwork conducted between 14-20 June 2022, surveying 2,010 nationally representative UK respondents (aged 16+) that celebrate Christmas.

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