Preference for online Christmas shopping

UK consumers will be doing their Christmas shopping online this year, according to the latest GMIPoll, which recently surveyed 17,000 consumers across 18 countries. The poll, powered by integrated market research solutions provider GMI, also revealed that Christmas shopping habits are quickly spreading to large, emerging consumer markets, such as China, India and Russia. The survey confirms the global significance of online shopping this holiday season.

The majority of UK consumers (61%) selected the internet as their first destination for Christmas presents shopping, with speciality department stores being their second preference at only 22%. In the survey, the UK leads the pack of nations surveyed for online shopping – for example, 46% of U.S. respondents preferred online retail whilst countries like Denmark, Italy and Spain still prefer brick-and-mortar stores. 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.

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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”.