Tight pockets are moving Aussies away from gift-giving this Christmas

Sunday, December 08, 2013

In the lead-up to Christmas, McCrindle Research surveyed 500+ Australians and found just 1 in 5 are planning to spend more this Christmas.

It’s ‘save, save, save’ this Christmas for Aussie families

Belts are tight and people are still uncertain on where the economy is going, with 48% of Australians saying that the economy will be worse next year. Over a third (33%) of Australians are planning to spend less this year than last year (up from 29% who reported the same thing a year ago).

“The savings mindset that emerged in Australia post-GFC has moved from a reactionary blip to a thrifty reality. Half of all Australians are going to keep their financial belts tight and spend the same as last year with another third planning on reducing their spend,” reports social researcher Mark McCrindle.

Generation Y (those 19-33) are more likely to spend more this Christmas than any other generation, with one third (32%) indicating that they plan to spend more on Christmas this year (compared with 15% of Gen Xers, 14% of Baby Boomers, and 15% of Builders).

A third of Australians are purchasing at least half their gifts online

Online purchases are up from last year, with 7 in 10 of Australians (cf. 6 in 10 in 2012) reporting that they plan on purchasing gifts online. In fact, 30% of Australians are buying at least half their gifts online this year.

While all Australians have caught on to online shopping, intention to make online purchases varies across the generations. While over 83% of Gen Ys and 80% of Gen Xs aim to purchase some of their gifts online, the same is true of only 63% of Baby Boomers and 48% of the Builder Generation.

McCrindle says, “Technology has been enthusiastically embraced by consumers as a means of saving money with most Australians doing at least some of their Christmas shopping online and a third buying half or most of their gifts online.”

Gift-giving down on the list of what Aussies look forward to

Despite its strong commercial focus, gift-giving is Number 6 on the list of what Australians love about Christmas. McCrindle explains: “This research shows that as the money spent on Christmas has been trimmed, the embracing of the broader aspects of the season has increased. In priority order, Christmas is about family, friends, food, festivities and faith elements (the Christmas story and carols).”

Half of Australians unhappy that Christmas has lost its meaning

Almost 8 in 10 Australians (79%) say that Christmas is ‘becoming too commercial and all about getting stuff,’ with the same percentage stating that Christmas has lost some of its Christian meaning.

1 in 2 Australians (49%) are unhappy about the loss of Christian meaning associated with Christmas, a percentage which is much higher for the Baby Boomer generation (62%) and significantly lower for Generation Y (29%).

This research highlighted the generational transitions that Australia is currently experiencing. Australians of retirement age were unanimous in their regret that Christmas has lost some of its Christian meaning and almost 2 in 3 Baby Boomers agreed however less than half of Generation X and less than a third of Generation Y felt this way.

Aussies glad that Christmas is in summer

While a third of Aussies aren’t sure of their preference, half of Australians indicate that they are glad that Christmas is in summer rather than winter.

“While Australians have grown up with lots of scenes in movies and televisions of winter yuletide, most Australians are not in fact dreaming of a white Christmas. In Australia, Christmas is synonymous with beach holidays, cricket, BBQs and sunburn – and while 1 in 5 are partial to a winter Christmas, half of Australians are glad about it being in summer,” says McCrindle.

Click here to download the full research summary.

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