One third of Britons have begun online Christmas shopping

September pay day indicated the start of the festive spending season for a large percentage of British consumers, with those in Wales, the South East and the North West revealed as the most likely to have begun buying gifts online for friends and family ahead of the December rush.

The team at affiliate network affilinet ( commissioned the research in a bid to uncover how early in the year Britons take to the internet and begin planning their Christmases, as well as how much impact upcoming ‘Black Friday’ will have on their spending.  3,109 UK adults aged 18 and over were polled, all of whom work in full-time jobs and shared with researchers that they purchased a percentage of their Christmas gifts online each year.

All respondents were initially asked ‘As of October 1st 2017, have you purchased any Christmas gifts online?’ with just over a third (35%) stating that they had done so. Of these participants, the majority (63%), had begun making purchases as soon as they’d been paid for the month of September, with 21% admitting that they’d begun purchasing Christmas gifts in July or August.

When given an extensive list of present categories and asked to state which gifts they had already ordered online for loved ones, the most commonly stated emerged as follows:

  1. Trips/holidays away – 21%
  2. ‘Must-have’ children’s toys – 18%
  3. Electronic items – 13%
  4. Beauty/fashion items – 9%
  5. Vouchers/tickets –  6%

In order to uncover the areas of the UK with consumers most likely to have begun their online festive shopping, researchers analysed answers to find out the geographical breakdown of participants, with the percentage of those that had started prepping for Christmas as follows:

  • Wales – 15% (of those who had started online Christmas shopping lived here)
  • South East – 14%
  • North West – 13%
  • East of England – 12%
  • London – 10%
  • Northern Ireland -9%
  • Scotland – 7%
  • South West – 6%
  • Yorkshire and Humberside -6%
  • West Midlands – 4%
  • North East – 2%
  • East Midlands – 2%

Finally, the 65% of those who were yet to begin their Christmas shopping were asked if the upcoming Black Friday sales had affected their decision to start making purchases, with just over one fifth (21%) revealing that this was when they were planning to get started on their online Christmas shopping.

Peter Rowe, UK Managing Director of affilinet, said: “For many Britons, Christmas can be somewhat of an overwhelming experience, and many people try to combat the additional financial stress by planning for the big day as far in advance as possible. Whilst it’s true that there are some incredible deals to be found during Black Friday, the truth is that brands are now tempting customers with online sales and offers now that those prepping for Christmas on a budget can begin to take advantage of!”