Christmas shopping is high on the list of priorities for many people at this time of year, but what are people buying?

Where are they buying it from?

Who are they buying it for?

And, most importantly, how much are they spending?

If you’re looking for UK Christmas statistics then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Bobatoo, we surveyed more than 7,000 people in the UK to find out exactly how they plan to spend their hard-earned cash over the festive period.

You may know that we ran a similar Christmas spending survey in 2018 – and this year, with unprecedented participation, we received more than double the number of entrants than last year!

So, without further ado, here’s your one-stop-shop for Christmas shopping statistics in the UK.

Although the most popular time to start Christmas shopping is between October and November (57%), there has been a significant increase in the number of people starting that little bit earlier this year. The number of people leaving their shopping until December has fallen by 40% year-on-year, suggesting that UK shoppers are becoming less likely to pick up gifts at the last minute this year. Our UK Christmas shopping statistics for 2019 also suggest a 33% rise in consumers hitting the shops before the end of summer, with 12% of respondents admitting that they’ve been planning for this Christmas since…well, last Christmas!

Although the majority of UK consumers (39%) said they’d be limiting themselves to shopping for between 5 and 10 people, there’s been a whopping 63% increase in shoppers adding to the cost of Christmas by splashing out on gifts for more than 20 people! There was also a 50% fall in the number of shoppers with less than 5 people on their Christmas shopping list.

It appears that Elvis isn’t the only one who will be ‘Lonely This Christmas’ with a 45% rise in the number of people not needing to buy presents for a partner in 2019. Over a quarter of respondents ticked ‘does not apply’ when asked how much they’d be forking out on that special someone. The lucky ones who do have somebody to buy for appear to be spending less on their partners this Christmas, with a 10% fall in shoppers spending in excess of £200 on gifts for their lovers this Christmas 2019. 50% of respondents said they’d be spending less than £100 – the exact same as last year.

The UK public won’t let Brexit dampen their Christmas spirit this year, as our survey shows an 84% rise in the number of UK shoppers spending over £700 on Christmas presents alone in 2019. The majority of people (27%) will be spending between £300 and £500 on gifts, while 16% said they would be setting their Christmas budget at below £200.

The majority of respondents said that they would be spending in the region of £100-£200, but there was a 48% rise in the number of those forking out over £400 on food, drink and decorations. There was also a 22% decline in the number of people spending less than £100, also suggesting that UK consumers are planning on spending more this year.

What is the most common amount to spend per child at Christmas? Our survey suggests that it is between £50 and £100 (with 28% of people choosing this option), but there has also been a significant shift in the number of parents spending between £150 and £200 per child. Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents said that they’d be buying Christmas presents on a budget, spending less than £50 on each of their children.

Our UK Christmas shopping statistics show that Lego is one of the best and most-wanted toys for Christmas 2019 (7.5%), closely followed by games consoles and video games (4%). But children have not forgotten the magic of a book, it seems, with more than 150 respondents insisting that they would be buying one for their child this year.

The majority of respondents (44%) said that they would go slightly over budget this year, with a further 10% admitting that they would be overspending by a significant amount. These figures make for a combined 328% increase on last year. Shoppers are, however, trying to set a budget, as there’s been a 68% fall in the amount of Christmas shoppers who fail to do so. Just 2% of respondents said that they’d be able to do Christmas on a budget, spending less than their allocated amount.

The majority of Christmas shoppers (35%) will be spending the same as last year, but there has been a 62% increase in those looking to spend more than they did in the year previous. There was also a 34% fall in people looking to spend less year-on-year, with just 18% of respondents working on a tighter budget this Christmas.

The UK high-street scene has undoubtedly taken a hit since the rise of the internet and online shopping, and this is represented in our Christmas shopping online statistics, as 58% of people said they would opt to do their Christmas shopping online rather than in-store. There is hope for the high-street shops, though, with a 13% increase in the number of Christmas shoppers opting to shop in-store this year.

But while there are more people looking to shop in-store, the vast majority of people (60%) will be partaking in online Christmas shopping in 2019. 61% of those said they’d be using Amazon, while eBay (5%) and Argos (2.5%) were the other popular choices.

No matter where you plan to do your Christmas shopping or how much you plan to spend on gifts this year, the team at Bobatoo would like to wish you a very merry Christmas for 2019!

And don't forget to check out the full statistics and graphs at:

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Grace Hickman
Digital Marketing Manager
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