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Christmas shopping – unwrapped

Our survey reveals how customers really feel about Christmas shopping this year.

Shopping for the festive season seems to have taken on a new purpose this year – as well as giving us an opportunity to share gifts with loved ones who we may not have seen for weeks or even months, it’s a touchstone of tradition that connects us to a very welcome degree of normality.

To unwrap just how customers feel about Christmas shopping in 2020, we asked people aged 21 – 50+ from across the UK to share their Yuletide opinions and insights.

It’s clear that the events of the past year have not dampened their spirits when it comes to gift-buying, with the majority of respondents stating that they’re going to spend at least as much as last year (67%), buoyed by recognition that sales and shopping events started earlier, giving them more opportunities to secure special deals and bargains (72%).

And, while shopping habits have inevitably been reshaped by restrictions on visiting physical stores, with 56% stating they are going to shop exclusively online because of the pandemic, a healthy 28% say they are planning to shop online but visit stores when they can.

Tidings of comfort and joy

When it comes to choosing which gifts to buy, food and sweets top the charts, followed by clothes, toys and items for the home, supporting the ‘comfort and joy’ theme that runs through the season this year:  

  • Food/sweets 72%
  • Clothing/footwear 61%
  • Toys and games 56%
  • Household items 55%
  • Personal care/beauty products 50%
  • Books 44%
  • Jewellery and watches 22%

All I want for Christmas…

…is choice.  That’s the single most important message coming from respondents about how they plan to shop and the services they expect.

Above all, customers want to have the choice to connect with retailers whether they’re in-store or at home (89%), so that they can be sure they get the right products in time for the big day.

And they’re looking for advice on a range of topics to help them have a happy Christmas – top of the list are:

  • Gift ideas for specific people - 61%
  • Information about sustainability and responsible sourcing - 45%
  • What they can get for their budget - 44%

Having a range of fulfilment services to choose from is high on their list of priorities, with free deliveries taking pole position (94%), followed by the ability to click and collect (44%) and an easy returns policy (40%)

It’s neatly summed up by one respondent’s comment:

‘Make sure we all have a choice - I'm happy to go to the shops when they're open, but I also want to be able to get what I need without having to go out if I don't want to. If retailers can bring Xmas shopping to my home if I want it, they're winning!’

A Christmas wish

Finally, we asked our respondents to tell us the one thing retailers can do to make Christmas shopping a better experience – here’s what was on their wishlist:

Safe and seamless

‘Make their shops safe so that we feel comfortable and like we are not putting them at risk.’

‘I’d like a streamlined process from point of browsing, whether that be online or in store, to purchase, fulfilment and if need be an easy returns process.’

Creative and communicative

‘Having an easy way to get new ideas - if I search for ideas for, say, ‘women’, I get hair dryers, toiletries and makeup. I’d like some new thinking!’

‘Be really on top of their communications - no one likes to shop online and have an issue only to find their query disappears into a black hole.’

Honest and helpful

‘Let customers know as soon as possible if something out of stock and offer an alternative.’

‘Offer quick delivery from the shop to your home so you don’t have to stand in a queue.’

Wherever and however we’re celebrating this year, circumstances have ensured that we have to meet new standards for engagement – and that can only make for a happier Christmas, now and in years to come.

Take the first step and contact us for a demo today.

Red Ant logo
Red Ant, 10th December 2020
Customers are looking for choice this Christmas

Related resource

Making sure it's a happy CX-mas

At the end of what can kindly be described as a ‘difficult’ year, it’s understandable that, despite some of us having to tighten our belts to the last possible notch, we’re looking to spend a little more this festive season to bring some joy to our Covid-restricted lives.