Toluna research has revealed that one in three Kiwis have stressed about having enough money to buy gifts this holiday season, and 66 percent said the rising cost of living is impacting their Christmas plans. Just under half of Kiwis said financial worries are impacting their overall mood and excitement for the season, and those between 18 and 54 are the most affected.
Most respondents said they would prefer a simpler Christmas, particularly those over 55. Forty percent said they wished they didn’t feel pressured to buy so many things at Christmas, and 14 percent wished they didn’t have to participate in workplace secret Santa.
“The cost of living has been top of mind for Kiwis for a large part of 2022, so it’s not surprising that they 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,” said Sej Patel, Country Director, Toluna, Australia & New Zealand.
To help cover holiday costs, one in ten consumers said they would pick up extra shifts over the festive period, and one in five Kiwis have put off buying big-ticket items due to financial pressures. One in three gifts are not needed or wanted, and almost half of respondents admitted to re-gifting. Instead of unwanted gist, store credit, cash, experience vouchers or donations to charity are popular alternatives.
For a greener Christmas, customers are avoiding buying overly packaged gifts, avoiding plastic gifts, reusing decorations where possible, not sending Christmas cards, buying recyclable wrapping paper and only buying rechargeable batteries.
“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.”