A new Bankwest poll has shone a light on the Christmas shopping habits of Australians, revealing budget blowouts, online overspend, greater spending discipline in-store, and a quarter preparing for a last-minute rush.
The attitudinal survey was conducted by Bankwest’s Ideas Lab research group to understand community trends in the lead-up to Christmas, fielding responses from about 800 customers, with about half based in WA.
The data showed almost two thirds (63%) of respondents heading into Christmas with budget blindness, with those who had budgeted setting an average allowance of $802, and families raising that cap to $922.
However, the responses showed it was one thing to have a budget and another to stick to it, with four-in-five (83%) having gone over their limit at least once in the past five years, and a quarter (25%) ‘often’ or ‘always’ doing so.
Budget blowouts also proved considerable, with the average overspend $238 – almost a third of the initial budget.
However, the data revealed an intriguing connection between budgets/budget blowouts, and shopping preferences of consumers, with those who plan to shop in-store having an average budget $308 lower than online shoppers.
The overspend of in-store shoppers ($199) was also considerably less than their online counterparts ($250).
The results also showed a surge in online shopping, with three quarters (74%) of respondents intending to do at least some of their Christmas shopping digitally, and a third (33%) of these buying more online this year.
Results also suggested that, while a quarter (26%) plan on completing their Christmas shopping by mid-December, one-in-five (18%) do not intend to start until after that mark, and eight per cent leaving it until the last week.
Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “Christmas shopping is one of those activities where everyone probably has a different approach and their own way they like to go about it, so this was captivating reading.
“We can see that while a quarter of people are well-prepared with their Christmas shopping, the same number don’t intend on starting until after mid-December, which might work for them, while giving the first group cold sweats.
“The increase in online shopping was no surprise after the past two years of health measures in responding to the pandemic, but it was really interesting to see the reduced effect on budget overspend of shopping in store.
“And I’m sure many of us can relate to overspending at this time of year, but I imagine those with a budget take solace in knowing it’s a lot easier finding an excess $200 than the $1000 of not having a budget in the first place.”
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