The Brits will be shopping late this year, with nearly half of them (48%) starting their purchases in December and 2% on Christmas Eve. In the survey, half of UK respondents say the promotion of Christmas merchandise in October is too early, indicating a counterproductive move on behalf of retailers.
The other trend GMIPoll results confirmed is how widespread festive shopping is becoming in developing markets with large populations such as China, India and Russia, where there is little to no tradition of celebrating Christmas or other Christian holidays. When asked how much they plan to spend compared to last year, Chinese, India and Russian respondents ranked top by saying they would spend more this year on Christmas gifts. By contrast, Western countries such as the Netherlands and the USA declared intentions of spending less.
Globally, Christmas is regarded as a time for family (47%) rather than a religious holiday (25%). For the Brits, the family tradition over the Christmas/holiday season is about staying at home (68%) rather than visiting relatives (25%).
Dietmar Walter, managing director, Europe for GMI, commented on the results: “Our poll confirms that for the Brits, like many other consumers in the world, online shopping has become a quicker and more convenient alternative to facing crowds on the street at this busy time of year. What’s interesting to me is the global power of marketing, with Christmas
being celebrated as an end-of-year holiday with gifts in major developing consumer markets of totally different ethnicities, such as China, India and Russia”.