June 21, 2024

Christmas Shopping Trends statistics

We’ve created this guide to Christmas gift trends to chart the key statistics about the holiday season. It’s never too early for Christmas shopping, after all – plus, we’re always super excited about the holidays.

The chances are that many people will be trying to be smart this Christmas due to widespread inflation and cost of living crises around the world. However, there’s a lot more to Christmas spending than meets the eye.

In this guide, we’ll dive into Christmas gift trends statistics, exploring the most popular gift categories and top Christmas trends by region and demographic, and elaborate on people’s holiday spending patterns. Let’s dive in – and next time, we’ll take a look at Black Friday shopping.

ebay trends

Source: eBay

Let us begin by digging into the topic that everybody loves the most – Christmas gifts. 

What are people buying this year? What kinds of gifts are more popular than ever, and which ones are on their way out? Let’s explore.

UK-Xmas-gift-spending-2021-2023-GBP.

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According to a study by VoucherCloud, 2023 will be the year when people in the UK spend the most on toys and consumer electronics (£2.18 billion and £2.02 billion, respectively). That was also the case in 2022, and in fact, 2023 will see a decline of 8% and 11% in spending for these categories. 

On the other hand, cash gifts, gift cards, and voucher spending are all expected to increase by 4.2% in 2023, and clothing gifts will see an increase of 4.6%. Another commodity that’s seeing an increase is alcohol and sweets, with spending predicted to reach almost £1 billion.

In fact, money, gift cards, and clothing were the most desired gifts in the UK in 2022, with over 40% of the population wanting them. It’s no surprise that people are looking for items they could either spend for themselves or use for functional purposes, like clothing, given the UK’s cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, in the US, money and gift vouchers were also popular items in 2022, with 36% to 40% of the population wanting them. That seemed to be the trend across Europe, too – for instance, 28% of Polish consumers wanted money or shopping vouchers.

Biggest Influences for Christmas Gifts

What drives us to choose certain gifts, and why do we tend to buy specific things around Christmas time? Let’s explore the biggest influences on Christmas shopping.

Scarcity Effect & Limited-Time Discounts

The shortages of various goods seen over the last couple of years have contributed to the “scarcity effect,” a phenomenon where we’re driven to buy things as we fear it could soon become unavailable. Similarly, we’re more likely to buy items if they’re discounted, an idea supported by studies.

Online Xmas Ads

ebay stats

Source: eBay

According to a study conducted by eBay, advertising is pivotal to Christmas shopping, as over a third of consumers admitted they were influenced by online ads. Of these people, 16% said they preferred Google Search ads, and 14% liked marketplace ads, like eBay or Etsy ads. 

Thoughtful Gifting

THOUGHTFUL-GIFTING-STATISTICS-TRENDS.

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The eBay study also tells us that reductions in people’s spending power are a big reason why this year is all about thoughtful gifting. Over 60% of consumers prefer gifts that are thoughtful rather than expensive, and almost 50% of consumers make an effort to spend time choosing the perfect thoughtful gift.

Indeed, meaningful gifts are surging in popularity, which is a significant sign of consumer habits evolving and of more emphasis being placed on sustainability. We’ll look closer at these trends now.

Sustainable Xmas Shopping

A study by American Express revealed that over 60% of British consumers make an effort to shop sustainably for Christmas. A significant part of this is the challenging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, and consumers are keen to support them and local businesses.

Here is a breakdown of other primary reasons why people are looking to shop more sustainably for Christmas today:

Reasons Percentage of consumers
Planet impact concerns 54%
Appreciation of the benefits of sustainable gifts 38%
Recipients’ appreciation of sustainable gifts 30%
Sense of duty or obligation 30%
Better sustainable gifting options 29%
Feeling good about themselves 28%
Easier to find sustainable gift options 21%

People engage in sustainable Christmas shopping for various reasons. But, of course, sustainability is far from the only trend impacting Christmas shopping around the world. We’ll now take a look at Christmas gift statistics and trends across different countries and regions.

WHERE-PEOPLE-BOUGHT-XMAS-DECORATIONS-IN-2022

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Christmas might be celebrated in many parts of the world, but different cultures and nations have different traditions – as well as different gifting patterns and behaviors. We’ll now take a closer look at Christmas gift trends by region.

Europe & UK

PROJECTED-2023-XMAS-SALES-IN-EUROPE-GBP-BN.

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The UK is leading the way for projected Christmas sales in 2023 in Europe, with Germany following closely behind. We’ll now take you through an overview of some Christmas shopping trends for the UK and continental Europe.

UK

WHERE-UK-CONSUMERS-SHOPPED-FOR-XMAS-GIFTS-IN-2022

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In 2022, almost 80% of UK consumers bought their Christmas gifts online, according to Statista. As the infographic shows, Amazon was the most popular online store for buying gifts.

Given the UK’s high digital literacy and the prevalence of ecommerce, we suspect the situation will be similar in the 2023 holiday season.

Inflation and the cost of living have had a significant impact on British consumers in the last two years. And as you’ll see, the trend is likely to continue into 2023.

Scandinavia

Common holiday shopping plans statistics

Source: Statista

The Scandinavian countries love Christmas – but it’s the darkest time of the year in this region, with short nights and cold weather. Because of this, some trends have emerged, such as an emphasis on human connections over material things and the hygge phenomenon.

For instance, only 29% of Swedes consider Christmas gifts the most important part of the holiday – the lion’s share of Swedish consumers (63%) consider friends and family the main part of areal Christmas.” Moreover, half of the country’s consumers shopped for fewer items than before in 2022 to reduce costs.

Other Countries in Europe

Consumers holiday shopping plans statistics

Source: Statista

Most European countries saw one common Christmas shopping trend in 2022, and that was reducing spending. For instance, many Italian consumers set a holiday budget.

That’s a sign that people have less spending power – a significant consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing global political uncertainties. We’ll talk more about that later in this guide.

USA

cutting back holiday cnbc

Source: CNBC

In 2022, US Christmas sales were projected to reach almost $1 trillion, with the average US consumer spending $867 – $19 less than the year before. Research by CNBC suggests that the reduction in spending and hunting for discounts will continue in the US as the 2023 holiday season approaches. 

Australia

Christmas gifts reasons Australia statistics

Source: Statista

Christmas in Australia takes place during the hottest season, but their reasons for celebrations and Christmas shopping are largely the same as for consumers in the US and Europe.

Almost every Aussie consumer buys gifts to make someone happy or to show their love. Only 22% of them engage in Christmas shopping as it’s the expected thing to do.

Different demographics have different shopping behaviors, and Christmas shopping is no exception. We’ll now take a look at how different generations and genders engage in Christmas shopping.

Generational Differences

gen z shopping

Source: eBay

Gen Z Christmas shoppers are all about social engagement and pre-loved and sustainable items. Some 20% of British Gen Z-ers will be buying pre-loved items due to the cost of living crisis, and 24% will be shopping for second-hand items to reduce their environmental impact

The situation is similar for millennials – a 2022 study by SAP revealed that 52% of British 18-34-year-olds were making an effort to get Christmas gifts from retailers with solid sustainability policies. Similarly, in Denmark, over 20% of 18-34-year-olds are shopping for second-hand items.

In terms of the most popular gift items mentioned in this guide, which are gift cards, the numbers tell us that millennials and Generation X spent the most on them in 2022 – $343 and $340 on average per consumer, respectively. Generation Z’s average spend was $270.

Gender Differences

men vs women xmas spending

Source: Finder

In terms of gender-based approaches to budgeting for Christmas gifts, studies show men and women budget for gifts almost equally, and among those who don’t budget, more women than men said they’d like to. In the UK, men tended to spend slightly more than women in the last three years, according to Finder.

We’ve looked at Christmas shopping across different countries and demographics, and we’ve studied the most popular gifts and the biggest influences on Christmas shopping. 

Money has a big impact on what you shop for and when, though. Because of this, we’ve created a separate section on Christmas gift spending trends. Let’s look at them now.

Cost of Living & Inflation

Inflation impact on consumer holiday shopping

Source: Statista

It’s no surprise that worldwide inflation trends are having an impact on holiday shopping. For instance, over 50% of US shoppers are going to be looking for more sales than ever this holiday season, and over 30% are making the most of the deals on offer.

In the UK, the situation is similar. Over 40% of Brits are planning to reduce Christmas gifting in 2023, and 90% will prioritize family gifts this year.

Over 40% of Aussie consumers will be spending as much on Christmas gifts in 2023 as they did in 2022. Only 19% said that they’d be spending slightly more, and 8% said they would be spending a lot more than the year before

These statistics are in line with a recent Statista report on Australian planned purchase behavior. Almost 60% of Aussies will be buying the same amount of gifts as last year, with 30% planning to buy fewer. Only 12% will be buying more Christmas gifts than in 2022.

Timing of Xmas Shopping

Have people been asking you, “Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?We know we’ve heard it, and so have a lot of people.

UK

uk xmas shopping

Source: eBay

Over 30% of British consumers are doing their 2023 Christmas shopping early, according to eBay. 

That’s not too different from 2022 trends, when 54% of consumers in the UK planned to start Christmas shopping before December. On the other hand, 35% of consumers say they’re spreading their shopping throughout 2023.

USA

Thanksgiving weekend shoppers over the years

Source: NRF

In the US, the situation is a bit different. In 2021, 45% of US consumers started doing their Christmas shopping in October. That figure increased to 56% in 2022.

According to a study by the NRF, a significant reason for that for 60% of consumers is spreading out a budget for gifts. Other reasons are avoiding the stress of last-minute shopping and taking advantage of good prices.

In terms of popular shopping days such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, the latter saw the highest Christmas shopping figures in the US – 54% bought gifts on that day in 2022.

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular Christmas shopping days for US consumers in the last three years:

Holiday Sales Day 2020 2021 2022
Black Friday 43% 49% 53%
Cyber Monday 34% 38% 45%
Super Saturday 14% 22% 25%
Green Monday 7% 16% 16%
Small Business Saturday 13% 20% 17%
Singles’ Day 10% 18% 14%

Australia

Only a fifth of Australian Christmas shoppers had started Christmas shopping by September 2023. As many as 29% are planning to finish by November, and 8% are looking to get it done by Black Friday. We’ll talk more about Black Friday shopping trends in our next guide.

Christmas Shopping statistics

Sadly, we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us the Christmas gift trends of 2024. But what we can do is look at the trends of previous years and ponder what 2024 might bring us based on that.

Conscious Shopping & Emphasis on Close Ties

We’ve written about the shift towards more sustainable and thoughtful gift-giving, which has been seen in recent years. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing gifts that are sustainable and have a positive social impact.

As we head into 2024, this trend is expected to increase in prevalence as Gen Z gains more purchasing power and becomes more influential. 

In addition, the emphasis on connections and thoughtfulness will continue. In a world of increasing digitalization and isolation, people will strive for close relationships. This may lead to more personalized gifts and experiences that celebrate individual relationships and are tailored toward recipients.

International Items

Globalization is once again increasing after the pandemic, and with international ecommerce becoming commonplace, we are seeing increasing international trade. As people are more exposed to international cultures and products, Christmas shopping in 2024 may feature a more diverse range of international items.

For instance, exotic foods, fashion, and decor inspired by different cultures may make for unique and enticing gifts. And as traveling resumes around the globe, gifting international experiences could also gain prevalence.

Virtual Gifts & Experiences

We can’t forget the rise of the Metaverse, and if its development stays on track, it’ll probably also impact Christmas shopping. As people spend more time in the Metaverse, they’ll likely appreciate the gifting of digital items that can enhance their experiences.

Digital transformation is expected to continue on a general level going into 2024 and beyond. Online subscriptions, virtual classes, and access to exclusive digital content are all prime examples of digital gifts that offer convenience and can be personalized to the recipient’s interests. 

Closing Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve looked at the highlights of Christmas gift trends over recent years, such as the most popular gifts, the most significant influences and factors, demographic differences, and future Christmas shopping trends.

Inflation and the cost of living are still having an acute impact on a significant proportion of consumers, and they’re making shopping decisions accordingly. 

We also saw that mindful, thoughtful, and sustainable gift-giving is becoming more and more popular, especially among younger generations.

As we explored how different groups approach Christmas shopping and what impacted them the most, we saw a focus on sustainability and conscious gifting. Being a thoughtful gifter is a big part of that – and we look forward to taking a look at Christmas gift trends next year to see how much they’ll have changed.

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