The ups and downs of online Christmas shopping

by Stratton Craig

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“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go.”
The Christmas season is under way and the Christmas shopping frenzy has well and truly begun.
There’s nothing like the hustle and bustle of the shops to get you in the festive mood…or not. In reality, it’s about battling the crowds, fighting with fellow shoppers over the last remaining “must have” gift in the shop and stressing over what to get your loved ones.
With this in mind, we decided it was a good time to find out your ups and downs of Christmas shopping:
Online or in-store
As you can see from the infographic, the Christmas shopping frenzy still doesn’t stop us shopping in store. After conducting a survey of more than 1000 people, we found that out of the two, shopping in store outweighs shopping online – with 37% to 26% . However, the majority of people like to mix it up and do the majority of their shopping online and in store (37%).  It also seems that women are more tolerant when it comes to the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, frustrated shoppers, and long queues, with 39% preferring to buy most of their gifts in store.  Men on the other hand, buy more gifts online. The new wave of online shopping still hasn’t reached the over 65s though, with only 15% saying they prefer to buy their gifts online. 
Reasons for buying online
For those who said they prefer to buy most of their gifts online, the main reason was to avoid the crowds (43%). That’s hardly surprising seeing as millions of us will hit the high street in the build up to Christmas in order to snap-up some last minute gifts. Last year, 15 million people (that’s 31% of the nation) went shopping the weekend before Christmas and overall we forked our roughly £1.8million every single minute. The second most popular reason for buying online was to do with the price. 42% of people believe you’re more likely to get things cheaper online. It would also appear that men might be more frugal when it comes to buying gifts – 55% of men prefer shopping online to get a bargain, compared to 33% of women.
Other reasons for buying online include:
  • You are more likely to find what you want (32%)
  • You prefer online shopping (26%)

Devices for shopping online
When it came to choosing a device for your online shopping – the laptop came up trumps, with 54% of people choosing laptop over desktop, tablet or mobile. In fact, only 9% of people said they would choose mobile when it came to shopping online – surprising statistics considering most of us are led to believe that the future of everything is mobile. It’s clear that design for mobile still isn’t good enough as 61% of people find it more difficult than using a desktop. The over 65s found it most difficult (76%) followed closely by people aged between 18-24 (65%). The diversity in age shows us that mobile just doesn’t really work for anybody.

Important factors when buying online
When it comes to buying gifts online, the most important factor in choosing what to buy is positive reviews from other shoppers (28%). That being said, the over 65s care the least about positive reviews from other shoppers. In fact this factor became less important as people get older – perhaps suggesting that the older you get the less likely you are to care what other people think. Imagery was the second most important factor (27%) and the description of a product came in third (23%). However, it’s clear that women want words as 29% care more about the description of a product, compared to 18% of men. Reputation matters more to men, with 23% of men saying reputation of a brand is most important, compared to only 15% of women. 
Information needed when buying online

We want to know when our gifts are coming. Easy access to delivery information is what most of us look for when it comes to buying online (46%).  Men are perhaps a little more eager to know when their gifts are coming with 55% needing this information compared to 41% of women.
Other information that’s important to you when buying online is:

  •  Website security information (43%)
  •  Clear navigation (41%)
  • Speed of checkout (29%)
  • Easy access to customer service options (21%)
  • Comprehensive list of FAQs (14%)

So there you have it – the ups and downs of online Christmas shopping.

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