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Nearly half of Xmas gift buyers will do it all online

Online Christmas Shopping Main Pic

Judging by the constant bombardment of Christmas adverts and shop windows already displaying their seasonal displays, you’ll no doubt already have started to think about that all-important activity this time of year – Christmas shopping. Whether you plan on visiting the high street stores or doing at least some of your present buying online, it seems that an increasing majority are buying online on phones, tablets and PCs than ever before. That’s hardly a surprise given the convenience of armchair browsing and the ability to research products and prices from the comfort of your home.

For me though, there’s still something magical though about braving the cold, wrapping up warm and visiting a Christmas market (especially those in the European cities), but the high street is now much less a place to buy many consumer goods (such as electronics) than it once was.

In this article, we’re sharing some news regarding the way the British people buy presents online. Continuing the Christmas theme later in the week, our very own Emma Crous will be covering Top Tech Christmas Stockings (one ‘for him’, one ‘for her’ and one ‘for the kids’) to get you in the spirit…

Internet devices are redefining the way Britons buy Christmas presents

Average person to spend nearly £490 on presents

Britons are planning a £24.4 billion Christmas gift shopping spree, with 760.4 million* gifts set to be shared on the big day, according to new research from programmatic marketing technology experts RadiumOne.

However, the reliance on the high street for buying gifts is fading. Among people aged 16+ who know how they’ll buy their Christmas gifts, researching and buying online is the most popular method – 45% plan to do this, rising to 58% of 45-54 year olds. In terms of income, people earning less than £20,000 are the most likely to do this (53%) whilst, regionally, it’s people in the South West (51%).

In fact, less than one in seven (13%) people who know how they’ll buy their Christmas gifts, will do both their research and shopping in-store. Older (55+) shoppers (23%), people in Wales (30%) and those earning over £80,000 (19%) are the most likely to shop in this traditional way.

Online Christmas Shopping Stats 2

Two in five people are still to decide whether to do their gift research and shopping online or on the high street; deals (68%), convenience (62%) and time (45%) will be the deciding factors.

Multi-device Christmas shopping

A quarter (24%) of online Christmas shoppers will use at least two internet devices to buy gifts; youngest survey respondents (16-24s) being the most likely (44%). The use of multiple devices increases with income, from 22% of those earning less than £20,000 to 78% of people on at least £100,000. Regionally, people in London (46%) are the most likely to use multiple devices to buy Christmas presents.

Desktop computers (72%) are the favourite device for online purchasing, particularly among people over 55 (82%). One in 6 (17%) will buy presents using their mobile phone – rising to 39% of 16-24 year olds – making it a more popular purchasing device than the tablet (13%).

Physical cards still dominate e-cards

People are nearly six times more likely to send physical Christmas cards (79%) than e-cards (14%). Those over 55 are the most traditional in terms of sending physical cards (88%) as are people on less than £40,000 (81%); regionally, it’s people in Yorkshire and the South West (both 85%).

Sending e-cards is most prevalent among men (18%), 16-34 year olds (20%) and those from London (32%). The likelihood of sending e-cards, perhaps surprisingly, increases with income – from 9% of those earning less than £20,000 to 45% of people on at least £100,000.

“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.”

Average spend per person nearly £490

Almost all (98%) of people over 16 years of age will give Christmas presents this year, spending on average £489.04. The most generous gift givers are 25-34 year olds (averaging £665) and those living in London (£767), while, regionally, people in Yorkshire & the Humber will spend the least (£378). People earning at least £80,000 a year will spend £1,608 on presents compared to £329 by those earning under £20,000.

The average Christmas gift giver will buy 14.8 presents for 8.3 people, with women much more prolific givers (17.8) than men (11.7). Despite spending the most money on presents, Londoners will buy the least amount (11.5) while people in the West Midlands will buy the most (17.4).

The most popular gifts purchased will be entertainment-related (63%), clothes (57%) and food & drink (47%).

Online Christmas Shopping Stats 1


Based on Office of National Statistics Population Estimates for England, Wales and Scotland Mid-2014. 49.816 million gift givers: @£489.04 average spend = £24.36 billion total spend, @14.83 average number of gifts given = 760.4m gifts in total.


The research was undertaken by research agency Mindmover. The total sample size was 1,000 people aged 16 and over. The survey was conducted online during the week commencing 24th August 2015. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).

About RadiumOne

RadiumOne is a global, programmatic marketing technology company that serves the world’s top brands. Founded in 2009 and based in San Francisco, RadiumOne has offices across Europe, the US, Canada and Asia/Pacific.

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