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Cost of Christmas gift giving nears £25 billion

New research has found that UK consumers are planning to spend £24.4 billion on Christmas gift shopping with 760.4 million gifts set to be shared on the big day.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Cost of Christmas gift giving nears £25 billion

The study involving 1,000 people by marketing technology specialist RadiumOne found that 98% of people over 16 years of age will give Christmas presents this year, spending on average £489.04.

The most generous gift givers were found to be 25 to 34 year olds and people living in London with average spends of £665 and £767 respectively. Meanwhile, people in Yorkshire & the Humber are forecast to spend the least at £378.

The most popular gifts purchased will be entertainment-related, clothes and food and drink.

Among those who know how they will buy their gifts this year, researching and buying online was found to be the most popular method with 45% planning to do this, rising to 58% of 45 to 54 year olds. In contrast, only 13% of respondents said they will do both their research and shopping in-store. Older shoppers, people in Wales and those earning over £80,000 were shown to be the most likely to shop in the traditional way.

Two in five people admitted to be undecided on whether to do their gift research and shopping online or on the high street although deals, convenience and time were cited as deciding factors for many.

Some 24% of online Christmas shoppers will use at least two internet devices to buy gifts with youngest survey respondents aged 16 to 24 being the most likely at 44% of those questioned. The use of multiple devices was found to increase with income, from 22% of those earning less than £20,000 to 78% of people on at least £100,000. Regionally, people in London were shown to be the most likely to use multiple devices to buy Christmas presents.

Desktop computers were revealed as the favourite device for online purchasing, particularly among people over 55. One in six said they will buy presents using their mobile phone – rising to 39% of 16 to 24 year olds – making it a more popular purchasing device than a tablet (13%).

“Christmas is, by far, the biggest sharing event of the year and it’s fascinating to see how influential technology now is, with its multiple devices, in the whole of the Christmas decision-making process,” says Rupert Staines, RadiumOne’s European managing director. “With the UK population being the most sophisticated e-shoppers in the world, it’s absolutely critical for brands and retailers to better understand these consumer connections and their fast-evolving relationship with technology to ensure their advertising delivers the ideal Christmas sales boost."

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