Consumer retail trends for this holiday season show some interesting changes according to the annual survey by Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS).
The Christmas Retail Trends Report, now in its fourth year, confirmed that like previous years the majority of Australian shoppers intend to purchase Christmas gifts this year.
Leading this research is Dr Eloise Zoppos, Research and Engagement Director at Australian Consumer and Retail Studies.
“Even though consumers are feeling the crunch thanks to cost-of-living pressures, Australian shoppers expect to spend more on family and friends this year, and more on their Christmas purchases across almost all categories compared to 2022,” said Dr Zoppos.
Amongst the report’s key findings:
- Australian shoppers estimate they will spend $427 on Christmas presents for immediate family, compared to $246 for extended family, $149 for friends and $266 on themselves, all of which are up from 2022
- Compared to last year, Aussie shoppers expect to spend 16 per cent more on clothing, footwear and accessories, 40 per cent more on consumer electronics, 16 per cent more on household goods such as homewares, and 13 per cent more on books and stationery
- Four out of five shoppers (80 per cent) plan to purchase a Christmas gift in-store, but more shoppers expect to buy gifts from only-online retailer websites than last year (44 per cent, up from 37 per cent)
Dr Zoppos said Australian shoppers are more bargain-driven than ever before, with more Aussies planning to take advantage of the sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day.
“Our research found that 65 percent of Aussies are planning to make a purchase at an upcoming sales event, trending up from 61 per cent in 2022 and 49 per cent in 2021,” said Dr Zoppos.
“Unlike in previous years, Black Friday polled as the top sales event this year, with 39 per cent of Aussies expecting to make a purchase at this event, up from 33 per cent in 2022, with an average spend of $434, up from $368 in 2022.”
Although fewer shoppers are planning to purchase from the Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales compared to last year, average planned spend remains high at $362 and $370 respectively, both of which are up from last year.
When it comes to Christmas gifting, 88 per cent of shoppers will buy gifts for their immediate family, 30 per cent for extended family, 39 per cent for friends, and 14 per cent for themselves, with an increase in the average spend on all groups compared to 2022.
“While some of this increase may be attributed to inflation and supply chain price rises, our data indicates that shoppers will also buy for more people, which may be a flow on effect from the easing of COVID restrictions and the resurgence of large gatherings,” said Dr Zoppos.
“While physical retail stores remain the most popular way to shop for most products this Christmas, our findings revealed that Aussie shoppers plan on using a mix of physical and online stores to complete their shopping.”
Purchased gifts will be the most popular type of gift followed by money, while some Aussies will give handmade gifts to others – especially to extended family, friends and colleagues.
The most common type of products purchased for Christmas shopping this year will be clothing, footwear and accessories followed by gift cards and vouchers, food and beverages, toys and games, and books and stationery.
“While it’s certainly a trying time for consumers, the majority of Australian shoppers would have already started their Christmas shopping, with 54 per cent starting one or more months in advance, and 46 per cent starting in the four weeks leading up to Christmas,” Dr Zoppos added.
Dr Eloise Zoppos
ACRS Research & Engagement Director
Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS), Department of Marketing
Monash Business School
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