Coronavirus prompts big switch to online Christmas shopping

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
December 02, 2020, 11:56 AM UTC

With the lockdown set to end soon, will adults be hitting the shops or sticking to online orders?

With non-essential shops in England re-opening today, will Britons be heading back to the high street for their Christmas gifts or staying indoors?

Overall, six in ten (60%) English people buying Christmas presents this year (and who hadn’t finished shopping by 19-20 November when the survey was run) will be buying all or most of their gifts online, up 12 percentage points on 2019 (48%).

Another 20% say they are planning on shopping both online and in-store (-6 points on 2019) while over one in eight (13%) still plan on hitting the shops, a drop of 12 percent points compared to last year.

While there is not a major difference between the genders when it comes to shopping solely online (63% of men and 59% of women), women are more likely to say they will venture into shops, with 36% of women shopping either partially or full in-store, compared to 27% of men.

Breaking the data down by age shows that adults aged 65 and over (17%) are actually the most likely to still opt to shop for gifts in person, compared to just 7% of those aged 18-24.

While the majority of all age groups still intend to shop solely online this year, the biggest change comes among the youngest (those aged 18-24), with a 21-point increase in those shopping all or mostly online, rising from 51% in 2019 to 72% this year. This narrowly beats out the over 65s, 53% of whom will be shopping all or mostly online for Christmas presents this year compared to only 33% who did so in 2019, a 20-point increase.

See full results here