Australian consumers squeezed by rising cost of living this Christmas: Toluna

The rising cost of living will dampen the Christmas spirit and affect Christmas plans for as many as 64% of Australian consumers this year, according to new research from consumer intelligence platform Toluna.

The research, which surveyed 1049 Australians demonstrated that the pressures of cost of living will impact spending habits for many Australians, with 83% saying that it will affect their spend on Christmas gifts.

46% said that financial worries were effecting their overall mood in regards to Christmas, with 65% of Australians feeling there is too much of a focus on gift-giving at Christmas time, and 22% wanting to spend less, however feel that their friends and family have come to expect a certain amount of gifts.

On the same note, 51% said they would prefer a more simple Christmas, with 70% of over 55s conforming to this sentiment, versus just 35% of 18-34 year olds.

To mitigate the costs of Christmas, 12% of respondents said they would be picking up extra work shifts over the festive period and 24% have held off on buying big ticket items for their children or grandchildren.

Other strategies will including buying more discounted sale items (43%), buying fewer items overall ($36%), not buying for the extended family (23%) and implementing a Secret Santa to reduce costs (10%). 19% of couples agreed to not buy each other anything.

Sustainability will also be at the forefront of this years festivities, with 88% of respondents saying that it was important to reduce waste this Christmas. To prevent waste, many will avoid buying overly packaged gifts (49%), avoid plastic gifts where possible (41%), reuse their tree and decorations (42%), not send Christmas cards (37%) and ask people what they want in advance to avoid buying unwanted gifts (33%).

The cost of living will also impact Australians plans of going out to eat over summer (56%); impact summer travel plans (48%); and the number of Christmas events they can attend (39%). For some, rising costs will impact their ability to take time off work over summer (33%), particularly those between 18-34 years of age (47%).

Sej Patel, country director, Toluna, Australia & New Zealand said: “The cost of living has been top of mind for Australians for a large part of 2022, so it’s not surprising that Aussies are also feeling the pinch this Christmas. Our research shows that, despite being under financial strain, the social pressures and expectations around gift-giving are making this a particularly difficult time of year, with some saying it’s dampening their Christmas spirit.”

“Discounts and less expensive brands have become much more appealing to consumers, and retailers must be prepared to see brand loyalty put to the test as consumers turn to brand switching and shopping the sales to control escalating expenses. To build and maintain customer loyalty, retailers should be heavily focused on messaging around value to consumers over the Christmas shopping period.”


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