HomeINDUSTRY INSIGHTAre our Christmas shopping habits changing?

Are our Christmas shopping habits changing?

With the festive season upon us, a new survey commissioned on behalf of PriceSpy reveals just how much Christmas shopping habits in New Zealand continue to change as a result of Covid-19.

The survey found Kiwis are planning ahead this year with their festive purchases. What’s more, shoppers are also looking to buy local – over two fifths of respondents (43 percent) say they will buy from New Zealand owned and operated businesses. One in five (19 percent) however say they will be guided by how much things cost and will buy from any store that offers the best price – even if it means buying internationally.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says: “It wasn’t too long ago we reported a huge trend in the number of people looking to buy air fryers as a result of people being in lockdown and wanting to make quick, easy and tasty food.

“A few months on and even though New Zealand is no longer locked down, our survey findings continue to reflect the ongoing changes that are happening around us – not only in what consumers are looking to buy but when they are wanting to shop for big events, like Christmas.”

Traditionally, PriceSpy’s survey results have shown Kiwis love the thrill of buying Christmas gifts last-minute. 

Across the last few years, survey respondents said they tend to do most of their Christmas shopping last-minute, up to a week before Christmas Day (29 percent in 2019 and 28 percent in 2020). 

“This year the survey results are very different. We have seen a significant shift in when people will buy gifts for the festive season with people now saying they tend to do most of their shopping up to six months in advance, highlighting a significant 20 percent increase compared to pre-Covid times,”Matinvesi-Bassett says.

Graph 1 – When do Kiwks tend to shop for Christmas?

“Shoppers, it seems, are aware of the wider impacts that the global pandemic is causing,” saysMatinvesi-Bassett.

“From manufacturing and supply chain issues, price increases, distribution delays and increased consumer demand. So, what people ‘want’ this Christmas may not necessarily be available.

“To help accommodate the wider issues impacting the retail sector, shoppers appear to be looking to purchase earlier, to offer them the best chance of being able to buy what’s on their Christmas wish lists.”

But being prepared and buying early may not deliver the best price…

Whilst buying early may help increase the chances of shoppers being able to purchase what they want, according to PriceSpy’s Price Index, a tool that tracks the daily price changes that occur across the most-popular products listed on the website, buying last-minute can provide shoppers the best opportunity of securing a bargain.

Graph 2 – Price Change.

Price Index shows prices dramatically drop in the last few days before Christmas, matching similar levels to what’s offered around Black Friday.

“This is an expensive time of year and even though shopping last-minute may not be everyone’s cup of tea, says Liisa.  “Our pricing data indicates buying last-minute especially across the last few days leading up to Christmas Day could deliver the best prices, alleviating some of the financial pressures some will be feeling across the festive season.

“For those looking to hit the shops last-minute, one thing to be aware of – especially if purchasing online, is whether the gift purchased will be received in time for Christmas Day, as courier and postal services are extremely busy at this time of year.

“If timing is not a factor for when the gift purchase is received, people are on a budget or simply don’t want to pay full price, buying last-minute could offer a great option to help save money at an otherwise expensive time. In fact, our survey findings found three fifths (61 per cent) of Kiwis say they have waited to purchase an item in the Boxing Day sale just so it’s cheaper.

“No matter what people are looking to buy for Christmas (or when for that matter), we strongly suggest people do not panic buy and always carry out important price research. Using an app or website like PriceSpy can help shoppers make better, more-informed purchase decisions. It’s quick, free and easy to do and can help saves lots of money in the long run,” saysMatinvesi-Bassett.

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