Exterion Media knows what you're getting this Christmas

Christmas stocking

While a new PlayStation or tickets to Adele may be top of many wish lists this Christmas, a consumer survey has revealed the gifts people are actually most likely to receive.

Research from Exterion Media’s award-winning consumer panel, work.shop.play., which surveys 10,000 people across urban areas, has found that while popular tech items such as consoles, tablets and wearables will undoubtedly make an appearance under the Christmas tree, many shoppers are still opting for more traditional gifts for their friends and families.  

More than half of respondents (53 per cent) said they are likely to buy traditional hardback books this Christmas as opposed to eBooks (2 per cent). 1 in 5 (20 per cent) said they would be gifting electrical goods such as mobile phones or cameras, 1 in 10 (12 per cent) will be wrapping up a games console or game, and 1 in 20 (5 per cent) will be giving an Apple Watch or Pebble to their loved ones.  

The results also highlighted that despite the proliferation of digital technology and the launch of services like Apple Music, CDs and DVDs are still common gifts for more than a third (34 per cent) of shoppers, compared with 29 per cent that were purchasing iTunes or Amazon vouchers. Overall, the number one most likely gift this Christmas is clothing, shoes and accessories (57 per cent), with food second in the running (55 per cent).

It’s interesting to delve into the data of shopping habits and intentions of the UK in this way. It reveals for us that this year we are likely to have a traditional Christmas, as we are still seeing time-honoured presents like knitted sweaters and the hardback bestseller top of mind for many shoppers” said Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director UK, Exterion Media.

Panels like work.shop.play. really help us to understand people as they move through urban areas, particularly during the busiest times of year, like Christmas. It’s there for marketeers to take insights away, and help inform their campaigns to create the best opportunities possible.”

Christmas ribbon

Other findings from the panel include:

• Two in three (63 per cent) of people said they enjoy shopping for Christmas presents
• Half (48 per cent) said they found advertising helpful to get inspired for Christmas 
• More than half of urbanites (51 per cent) shopped during Black Friday this year (68% of 16-34s), compared with 27% who bought something on the day last year (36% of 16-34s)
• With Sales promotions stretching out over a number of days this year, nearly a third (31%) saved their Black Friday shopping for the weekend or following week.

Celebrating centrally at Christmas

In addition to gifts, the work.shop.play., panel uncovered what we’ll be doing in the lead up to December 25. Half (48%) of Londoners are likely to go to a Christmas market, with Southbank Christmas Festival being the most popular destination, followed by Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Those wanting to escape the crowds should consider Winterville in Victoria Park as only 11 per cent of Londoners will go east for their yuletide cheer.

Don’t expect too fancy a feast

Most (60 per cent) of the work.shop.play. panel do not plan to splash out on fancy festive foods in the lead up to Christmas, saying they prefer their usual food shopping choices over more expensive options. One in three people will spend £100-£300 on Christmas gifts and groceries this year, and two in three (66 per cent) said they like to shop in smaller, independent stores for Christmas

Thinking with their stomachs, urbanites are likely to buy Christmas themed food and drink (57%). Roast potatoes were voted the no.1 food they are looking forward to eating most (55%), beating the presumed star of the dish, Turkey (44%). In the same list – right behind tin chocolates (36%) - a third of urbanites voted sprouts (32%) as the food they are most looking forward to eating.