A survey carried out by researchers at Waterford Institute of Technology has found that December may give rise to optimism for beleaguered Irish retailers.
The study which was conducted by the RIKON Research Group, on behalf of AllGifts.ie, found that 73 per cent of Irish consumers will spend the same or more on Christmas gifts this year compared to previous years, while 63 per cent of those surveyed have indicated they will wait until December to do their Christmas shopping.
The face-to-face survey also reveals that online spending continues to grow in popularity among Irish shoppers. The main reasons given for shopping for gifts online were not price related, but rather convenience (60 pc of those surveyed) and time saving (22 pc), with online bargains accounting for a distant third (18 pc).
“Despite the current economic conditions, Irish shoppers have indicated that they are willing to open their wallets for a bargain,” said Gary Purcell, Managing Director of AllGifts.ie.
Mr. Purcell noted that the survey findings could be attributed to the introduction of pre-Christmas high streets sales and other special offers, as well as the 6.6 pc decline in consumer prices between January and October this year.
He added: “The results of this survey are very welcome news for Irish retailers who have experienced a considerable drop off in footfall over the last year. The vast majority of Irish shoppers are saying they will spend the same or more on gifts this year, with online shoppers leading the way. Online consumers are spending more even though their spending power is not as great as the non-online buyers”.
Survey results for consumers that shop online for Christmas gifts:
- The three major reasons that consumers shop online for Christmas presents are: convenience (61 pc), save time (22 pc) and best place to find bargains (18 consumers)
- They are likely to spend 201-500 euro this year on their Christmas shopping (39 pc), with a further 31 pc indicating that they will be spending over 500 euro this Christmas on gifts
- They are likely to spend about the same online as previous years on their Christmas gifts (41 pc), yet a further 49 pc indicated that they would be spending more than in previous years
- 77 pc of online consumers will be spending the same or more this Christmas on gifts than the previous ones
- They are most likely to complete their Christmas shopping in December (58 pc)
- A slight majority does not expect to buy gifts online for children (56 pc).
Survey results for consumers that do not shop online for Christmas gifts:
- The three major barriers to not shopping for Christmas presents online are (in order of importance): consumers do not have a credit card, they prefer to see items before they buy them, and they don’t like to wait for items to be delivered
- Over a third of these consumers will spend between 201-500 euro this Christmas (35 pc) with 24 pc indicating they will spend over 500 euro
- A large majority (69 pc) indicated that they will spend either the same or more than last year on Christmas presents
- A large majority indicated that they shop for presents in December (70 pc consumers)
AllGifts.ie sells 10,000 gifts and gift vouchers online from 175 Irish retailers. An estimated 50,000 shoppers are expected to visit the website during December.
The Top Ten Gifts purchased by the 8,500 registered users of the website in November are as follows (in order of popularity): (1) Airplane Flying Lessons, (2) Hotel Breaks for Two, (3) Restaurant Meal vouchers, (4) Netbooks and Laptops, (5) Spa Treatment vouchers, (6) Helicopter Rides, (7) Gourmet Food Hampers, (8) Internet Radios, (9) Rally and 4×4 Driving Experience and (10) Oxfam Gift of a Goat.
For more on the Christmas Shopping Survey visit www.allgifts.ie.
Additional Survey Findings: Of the 265 consumers surveyed, the majority of consumers were 18-24 in age, with 85% of the sample indicating that they made under €50,000 and the gender balance was nearly even (48% female and 52% male). Further, 140 consumers indicated that they would be shopping for Christmas presents online, while 125 indicated that they would not be. Additionally, there are two consumer types of interest: online and non-online buyers. Demographically, both sets of buyers are similar in regards to gender balance and marital status – approximately 52% male and 48% female with both sets most likely to be single (69%). In regards to age, 39% of the online sample was 18-24 whereas 58% of non-online buyers were in this age bracket. Both sets of buyers also differed on income. For the set of online consumers, 79% have an income of €50,000 or less, whereas for the non-online consumers, 91% have an income of €50,000 or less.