‘All ready for Christmas?’ seems to be the question of the day. And the answer is no. No I’m not. I still have presents to buy, we have 19 people arriving on the 27th and I have no food for them yet, as the fridge is about to be filled to capacity with the biggest turkey ever to have roamed the planet. But at least I know that I’m not alone. In our 6th Myth of Christmas, we found that parents develop Christmas fatigue over the festive season, often feeling stressed and panicked in the run up to the big day.
So in the last few working days before Christmas, we thought we’d explore how Britons were feeling about Christmas this year and whether our shopping habits have changed in the year since we completed our recent Future of Christmas research. We spoke to 200 people, asking about their feelings about Christmas this year and how they’ve shopped for their presents.
In the year that the Centre for Retail Research reported that online sales had risen by 16.2% in the UK, we asked people how they’d done their Christmas shopping this year. We found that the hybrid shopping model remains strong and a combination of in store and online to buy gifts is still, unsurprisingly, the most prevalent shopping behaviour. This year, a massive 83% of people have so far used both online and the high street to shop for gifts, compared to 77% at the same time last year. And while solus in store shopping has decreased, the high street has still not been abandoned, but rather supplemented with online shopping, with the proportion of those shopping only online remaining stable, at 10% of people.
The proportion of people that have bought presents online, in store and using both methods during the third week in December 2014 and 2015.
With this hybrid method, retailers should ensure that links between online and bricks and mortar are seamless. Shoppers want to be able to easily move between the two, seeing goods in store and ordering them on line and, vice versa, researching their presents online and then being able to easily find them in store.
We also asked people how they were feeling about Christmas this year and the results we found were incredibly consistent. It would seem that our festive spirit is remarkably similar, year on year, with just a one percentage point difference and around six in ten of us loving Christmas.
Christmas love during the third week in December, 2014 and 2015.
Those brands that make the lives of those who are finding the festive period stressful will win; faster delivery, easy gift finding services, gift wrapping and great customer service are all great ways of helping to take some of the pain out of Christmas.
But what affects our Christmas spirit? We asked people how they were feeling this year compared to last and found that the majority of people said they were feeling the same but new babies, family bereavement and the weather all functioned to make people feel more or less festive at this time of year. Although there seems to be no dampening of some people’s Christmas spirit, with one of our Your Voice members saying:
“From the 1st of December, I make sure I arrive home every day after work wearing a Santa hat”