With 44 hours of planning and 36 hours of shopping ahead of Christmas, it’s no wonder consumers put it off

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 05:25 am

  • More than half of consumers put off their Christmas shopping
  • Consumers spend over £160 procrastinating
  • Social media is one of the biggest distractions while present hunting

Today marks 100 days until Christmas and to coincide, new research reveals just how much prep lies ahead as it takes consumers 44 hours of planning, 25 hours of browsing online and 11 trips to the shops to be ready.

The study from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback shopping site, finds consumers start with the best intentions with nearly a third (31 per cent) starting to shop as soon as they see festive items on the shelves, which began in August this year. However, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) put it off until November and if past records are anything to go by, 16 per cent will not have finished by Christmas Eve.

More than half (55 per cent) of consumers admit to putting off their Christmas shopping, for reasons such as, they don’t know what to buy their friends and family (57 per cent), find it too expensive (40 per cent), think the shops are too busy (33 per cent) and feel stressed (28 per cent). On top of that, other people also prove to be a distraction as the majority (82 per cent) of consumers say they are more efficient when shopping on their own and find their partner the most disruptive accomplice.

Christmas shopping procrastination is no small problem either, as consumers dilly-dally away six hours each week in the run up to Christmas and spend £162 on long lunches, coffee breaks and treats for themselves.

Distractions are not just experienced when shopping in person, more than two-fifths (43 per cent) of consumers admit to getting side-tracked when shopping online. Browsing social media platforms (62 per cent), reading the news (25 per cent), watching Netflix (11 per cent), watching funny videos (nine per cent) and looking at pictures of cats (six per cent) are the biggest culprits.

Yet online seems to be the preferred option for Christmas shopping this year, as just one in 10 (nine per cent) will be shopping exclusively in-store. More than two-fifths (43 per cent) of consumers plan to shop solely online and nearly half (48 per cent) will be doing a bit of both.

Adam Bullock, UK Director at TopCashback.co.uk, said: “44 hours of planning may seem excessive, but it’s no secret that planning is the key to a successful, stress-free Christmas. It also makes it much easier to budget and keep costs down. By putting in the hours ahead of shopping, consumers can keep a lid on their spending and save themselves a lot of time in the long-run.

“Our research also shows consumers are favouring doing their Christmas shopping online instead of hitting the busy high-street and with that brings the added benefit of being able to compare prices easily and use voucher codes and cashback websites.”

Organisation is the key to Christmas…

To curb procrastination, more than half (51 per cent) of consumers shop online and a similar number (49 per cent) plan what to buy people before they start looking to avoid aimless browsing. Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) write a list, a third (33 per cent) shop at less busy times and 28 per cent make a firm budget and do not go over it.

Success to more than a third (35 per cent) of consumers would be completing all their shopping and prep by mid-December whereas three in 10 (30 per cent) would like to have it wrapped up by the end of November.

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