Christmas shopping. For some, it’s a last minute dash to the petrol station on Christmas Eve for a box of choccies and a bunch of flowers. Whilst others have already wrapped each and every present by the end of September - and have even bought something for the postman! But as a nation - when do we start our Christmas shopping here in the UK? And whose gifts are we most likely to leave until the very last minute?
To find out, we surveyed 1,000 UK adults using Google Surveys and conducted an analysis of over 6.9 million Google searches made on the topic of Christmas gifting in the last 7 years.
Christmas Shopping Statistics of 2022 - All Wrapped Up
We all know that one person who puts their Christmas tree up in November... But do people actually start Christmas shopping earlier in the year? And if they do, how early do they start? We found that:
- Some people in the UK start their Christmas shopping as early as July! With 7,090 searches being conducted in this month for terms such as ‘Christmas gifts’, ‘cheap Christmas gifts’ and ‘luxury Christmas gifts’.
- During lockdown, Brits started their Christmas shopping as early as the beginning of July!
- Cheap Christmas gifts have always been significantly more popular than luxury Christmas gifts in the UK, according to Google search volumes.
- When shopping online for Christmas presents, the recipient who’s gifts we search for the most is Dad, with the UK conducting more average online searches for ‘Christmas Gifts for Dad’ than any other recipient.
When do we start our Christmas shopping?
Whether you plan for Christmas all year or you’re a last-minute-sales Christmas shopper, getting everything ready for Christmas requires planning. Did you buy everything you needed? Has anyone been left out? Everyone struggles with Christmas shopping sooner or later - but when do most people start thinking about it? When does the Christmas research begin?
The simple answer is in December - but for some people, that’s far too last-minute. To find out when people around the world start their Christmas shopping, we used Keyword Finder to analyse search volumes every month for several key phrases such as ‘Christmas gifts’, ‘cheap Christmas gifts’, ‘last minute Christmas gifts’ and ‘luxury Christmas gifts’ between December 2020 and December 2021. We then added these results together to find out the monthly trends in Christmas shopping online.
- Not many people like to buy late Christmas presents, as monthly searches for Christmas gifts fell from 320,870 to just 262,470 between November 2020 and December 2020!
- Christmas shopping became more popular in July, with people in the UK conducting nearly twice as many searches in July than in June (7,090 vs 3,900).
Have the UK’s Christmas Shopping Habits Changed Over Time?
Have we always started our Christmas shopping as early as July? Or did lockdown give us more time to start thinking about Christmas? To find out whether this is a new trend, we extended our research to Google searches from as far back as January 2016.
Interactive map: https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/11201633/
The graph shows the estimated dates at which Christmas gifting searches reached 20,000 each year from 2016-2021 in the UK. These searches consisted of ‘Christmas gifts’, ‘cheap Christmas gifts’, ‘last minute Christmas gifts’ and ‘luxury Christmas gifts’. Our analysis found that:
- The year where people started their Christmas shopping online the earliest was 2021, as the 20,000th search occurred on 5th July.
- This is closely followed by 2020, where the same number was reached by 7th July. So perhaps being locked down gave us a little more time to get those Christmas gifts sorted in advance!
- 2019 saw the 20,000th search occur on 11th August. Similarly, in 2018 and 2017 this search occurred on 23rd August and 27th August respectively.
- The year where we left our online Christmas shopping the latest however was 2016, when the 20,000th search wasn’t reached until 2nd September.
Methodology: Using linear interpolation we assigned the same number of searches to each date occurring within the given month. This then enabled us to estimate the date on which the 10,000th and 20,000th searches may have occurred.
Have People Been More Willing to Spend on Christmas Gifts in the Past?
Have frugal Christmases always been the way to go in the UK? Or have the pandemic and the cost of living crisis had an impact on our Christmas spending in recent years? To find out, we analysed individual monthly data for both key phrases for every month between January 2016 and June 2022.
- Cheap Christmas gifts have always been significantly more popular than luxury Christmas gifts in the UK.
- Cheap Christmas gifts were more popular in November 2016 than they have been in any consecutive year since, with people searching for cheap gifts 22,200 times on average that month.
- Luxury gifts are becoming more popular in recent years, with people in the UK conducting 1,600 searches in both December 2021 and December 2020, more than twice the search volume of December 2019.
Which Family Member Do We Think of Most When Doing Our Christmas Shopping?
Everyone has a priority list when it comes to Christmas shopping. Husband, wife, mother, siblings or friends - who’s at the top of yours? And which family position is the most likely to get you put at the top of everyone’s priority lists? To find out, we used Keyword Finder to research a range of key phrases such as ‘Christmas gifts for wife’, ‘Christmas gifts for husband’, ‘Christmas gifts for mum’ and several other variations. We used the search rates for each phrase from December 2021, to get a better idea of how families plan their Christmas shopping.
- Fathers are the most thought-about family members when it comes to Christmas shopping, with Britons searching for ‘Christmas gifts for dad’ 110,000 times in December 2021.
- Boyfriends are the next most searched-for loved ones, accumulating 60,500 searches for ‘Christmas gifts for boyfriend’ during the Christmas month.
- Grandads are the least searched-for solo family members, although people in the UK searched for ‘Christmas gifts for grandparents’ more than 5 times the amount they searched for grandads alone (14,800 vs 2,900).
- Male relatives receive more Christmas thoughtfulness than their female counterparts, acquiring 195,600 searches compared to only 130,300 for female relatives.
- This difference is mostly seen between mums and dads (49,500 vs 110,000) and girlfriends and boyfriends (40,500 vs 60,500), while husbands and wives have an equal search rate.
That’s a Wrap!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our run-down of all of the most up-to-date statistics, facts and figures on Christmas Shopping in 2022. If you’d like any more information about how this data was obtained, feel free to give us a call! Or if you’re on the hunt for unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones this year, check out our Christmas selection here.