Why Aussies are shopping online earlier than they did last year for Christmas season

1 in 2 Aussies say they will spend less this Christmas, while 2 in 3 will shop earlier 

Christmas may not be so ‘merry’ for some, as new research reveals that more than half of Aussies concede that they cannot afford to spend the same amount on Christmas gifts this year as last year. Supply chain disruptions have already driven one-third to buy all their gifts by the end of this month to avoid disappointment.

The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1007 Australian online shoppers, commissioned by leading parcel delivery company CouriersPlease.

During the key Christmas trading months of November and December in 2021, Australians spent more than $65 billion, both in-store and online – a $3 billion increase on the previous year. However, household Christmas budgets may not go as far as last year. The year inflation has skyrocketed, and interest rates are continuing to rise, which will drive manufacturers and retailers to increase prices.

The survey found that 54 per cent of shoppers are feeling the pinch and will spend less on Christmas gifts. This compares with just 3 per cent who said they would spend more. Specifically, just over a quarter (26 per cent) said they would spend less overall, and 26 per cent said they would give fewer gifts. Three (3) per cent said they would boycott Christmas altogether and 42 per cent said they would spend the same.

There is another shopper cohort who will buy this year’s Christmas gifts earlier. Respondents were asked how soon they will shop with ongoing supply chain issues and some product shortages: 61 per cent of respondents said they would shop earlier this year than they usually do.

One in five shoppers (19 per cent) have already secured their Christmas gifts. A third (34 per cent) will have completed their purchases by the end of this month to ensure they can nab the products they want at a good price. With a further third (32 per cent) planning to do their Christmas shopping in October. Sixty-six per cent will have completed their Christmas shopping by the end of next month.

“Christmas will be coming early for retailers, with most Aussies shopping earlier than last year. Said CouriersPlease’s Jessica Ip.  Courier services like ours are also anticipating an influx of early Christmas-related orders this year and may see our’ peak period’ – which tends to start in October – fast-tracked as a result.”

However, not everyone appears ready to hit the shops just yet: 29 per cent of shoppers reported feeling comfortable leaving their shopping just a month before, and a rather confident 6 per cent intend to purchase their gifts in December.

Their decision to hold off may pay off as it coincides with the four-day long Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. These pre-Christmas retail sales are forecasted to parallel 2021’s ground-breaking record of $58 billion, up almost 12 per cent from the pre-pandemic results in 2019.

The full survey results, including breakdowns across age and State, can be found here couriersplease.com.au/portals/0/Christmas-White-Paper.pdf.