HomeINDUSTRY INSIGHTPerceptive survey reveals Young Kiwis are willing to get into debt this Christmas

Perceptive survey reveals Young Kiwis are willing to get into debt this Christmas

Despite the tiresome year that 2020 has been, a survey conducted by Perceptive has revealed that while many New Zealanders have been adversely affected by the pandemic, younger people are willing to spend more this Christmas and 48 percent of Kiwis will be spending the same amount as they have in recent years.

Following its recent survey, Perceptive has uncovered how New Zealand consumers intend to spend their money this Christmas. The second part of the study will start in January and will involve deep diving into transactional data from Paymark to unpick actual spending behaviours.

Perceptive managing director, Daniel Shaw, says the team are aiming to uncover the short and long term impact Covid has left on the consumer mindset.

So, how much has Covid-19 reshaped the psych of the New Zealand consumer?

30% of New Zealanders will spend less this Christmas

Perceptive has found that while 30 percent of New Zealanders plan on spending less this Christmas, 48 percent claim they’ll spend the same and 18 percent say they’ll spend more. 

Aucklanders feeling the pinch

Of the 30 percent (approximately 1.5 million Kiwis) who say they’ll spend less this Christmas, unsurprisingly, this group is more likely to be living in Auckland with 34 percent of Aucklanders saying say they intend to spend less this Christmas.

Shaw says Auckland has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19.

“Businesses across the region endured two lockdowns while the Auckland CBD, home to 14,000 businesses, was also shut down for a weekend in November.”

That’s not to say the impact of Covid hasn’t been felt elsewhere. Over half of this ‘spend less’ group attribute Covid-19 as at least one of their reasons for tightening their purse strings.

To save money and spend less, this group plans to:

  • Keep the food simple and not over the top (64%).
  • Put a price or quantity limit on gifts (53%).
  • Take advantage of sales before Christmas (43%).

Younger New Zealanders plan to spend more this Christmas by using alternative payment methods

At the other end of the spectrum, 18 percent of New Zealanders (approximately 918,000 people) are planning on spending more this Christmas. These New Zealanders tend to be younger, aged 18 to 34 years (29%) and are living in shared flats with friends (38%).

The top three reasons why this group plans to spend more are:

  • It has been a tough year and people deserve a good Christmas (39%).
  • I want to spoil my loved ones with gifts (34%).
  • I am in a better financial position this year (27%).

Young Kiwis aged between 18 to 24 are also more likely to use alternative payment methods such as in-store and online laybuy (27 percent).

Shaw says the shift towards Laybuy shows how buyer behaviour is changing alongside the development of new technology and financial platforms.

“Platforms such as Laybuy and Afterpay are having a big impact in the eCommerce space. Younger generations are quicker at adopting and adapting to new technology, hence this skew showing among younger Kiwis.” 

More Kiwis move to shop online

Over one-quarter of Kiwis (roughly 1.3 million people) saying they plan to shop mostly online this year due to convenience and avoiding crowds. Of this group, 33 percent did not shop online last year, which indicates a significant shift in mindset compared to twelve months ago. 

New Zealanders aged between 25 to 34 years are most likely to shop online along with Aucklanders who are eager to skip the crowds.

The buy local trend is still going strong

Well over half of New Zealanders say they’re more focused on buying from local retailers this year compared to last year. While this opinion is held relatively evenly among females and males, 18 to 24 year olds were significantly more likely to focus on buying local this Christmas. The most common reasons are to help New Zealand businesses after Covid-19 and to avoid longer wait times on overseas items.

A lot of us are organising early

Despite Perceptive’s survey being conducted in November, 41 percent of those surveyed said they had either bought gifts already or they are planning to buy them earlier than last year.

Shaw says it was expected that the reason for starting Christmas shopping early would centre around the impacts from Covid, like slow delivery, especially from overseas.

“In reality, it mostly came down to New Zealanders wanting to be organised and to get their Christmas shopping done and dusted. That said, 49 percent of those who have shopped early or plan to also said it was to help spread out the cost.

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