With the cost of living crisis squeezing budgets, many UK shoppers are looking to cut back on spending this Christmas, according to a new report by eBay Ads.
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The study found that 48% of consumers say their celebrations will be more modest this year, while 51% prioritize value for money when buying gifts. Despite money worries, 20% still plan a festive getaway, making up for canceled trips over the past two years of the pandemic.
The trend toward more thoughtful gifting looks set to continue, with 64% believing it is better to give meaningful rather than expensive presents. Over half say they gift items people will actually use.
Younger shoppers view Black Friday as the kickoff for their Christmas shopping. The report found that 27% of 16-34-year-olds see it as the start of seasonal sales, so online sellers should ramp up their advertising campaigns from then.
Generation Z is also leading the way in gifting pre-loved items, with 20% planning to buy more second-hand gifts this year, compared to an average of 10% across all demographics. Environmental motivations play a role too, with 24% of 16-24-year-olds citing sustainability as vital to them.
Shoppers seem split between getting organized early and waiting until the last minute. 32% plan to start their Christmas shopping soon, while 28% will hold off to see their budgets nearer the time.
When it comes to online ads, 34% say they are influenced by them over Christmas. Top-performing ad formats are search ads, promoted listings on marketplaces like eBay, and email newsletters.
Upasana Gupta, GM of eBay Ads UK, said, “Following ongoing economic pressures, it’s to be expected that many Brits are taking a more cautious approach to their Christmas spending this year.”
She explained that tough financial times could be driving the preference to find thoughtful rather than expensive gifts for loved ones.
Gupta stressed it is essential for retailers to be aware of shoppers worrying about finances leading up to Christmas. This means ensuring inventory offers value, whether in price or quality, as consumers clearly want their money’s worth.
The advice for online sellers is to vary their advertising across the festive season to engage with early planners, last-minute buyers, and everyone in between. Adding promotions and discounts will also help convert undecided shoppers.
Read the full eBay Ads UK Peak Season Spend Trends 2023 report here.
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