Many traders and e-commerce managers have raised concerns about this Christmas 2023. Many, in fact, complain about a more or less reduced turnover compared to previous years. But there could be a valid reason.
With just over two weeks until Christmas 2023, there are still many Italians who have to give gifts to friends and relatives. This is according to the recent report by Packlink: “Report on the 2023 High Season”, according to which 17% Italians tend to make their Christmas purchases at the last moment, a percentage that places them among the most latecomers in Europe.
Let's go into more detail.
Purchasing Behavior and Impact of the Recession on Christmas 2023
This year, the economic recession has significantly influenced the habits of Italian consumers. Again according to the Packlink study, approximately 18.9% started making Christmas purchases in the last half of November, taking advantage of discounts and promotions, while 13.7% plans to do so in the first half of December.
Also interesting is the data according to which 39.1% of Italians declared that they set a maximum budget for Christmas shopping and that they try to respect it.
Let's look at other trends that emerged from the report.
Comparison with other European countries
Unlike Italians, other European countries such as France and the United Kingdom start Christmas preparations much earlier. For example, 35% and 40% respectively consumers in these countries start their Christmas shopping before October.
Generational and gender differences
Shopping habits also vary based on age and gender. The 39% of those under 45 usually anticipate Christmas shopping, while this percentage drops to 28% among Generation X and Baby Boomers. Women prove to be more organized and far-sighted, with the 40% anticipating purchases compared to the 33% of men.
Increase in Online Purchases
Another trend to note is that 49.5% of Italian consumers plan to make the majority of their purchases online, especially for electronic products and toys.
In general, there is a growing preference for a style of omnichannel purchasing, which combines physical and digital channels. Only 8% of consumers prefer to shop exclusively in physical stores.
The Re-commerce Phenomenon
Another rapidly growing trend in Italy is purchasing on re-commerce platforms. In 2023, 74% of Italians chose to buy used products, positioning Italy as a European leader in this sector.
The main reasons include saving money, access to rare vintage products and the desire to make a more sustainable impact on purchasing habits.
Planning and Saving
Noelia Lázaro, Marketing Director of Packlink, tried to give a boost to sales, underlining the importance of planning expenses to avoid last-minute purchases, which can be more expensive. It is essential, continues Lázaro, to consider the appropriate channels for purchases, given the variety and integration between the different channels.
Christmas 2023 highlights a significant change in Italians' purchasing habits, influenced by both the economic recession and technological evolution. In short, this year we expect a Christmas 2023 in the name of saving and the tendency to use different channels for their purchases highlights that Italians are very attentive and carefully ponder the choice of Christmas gift.
While the approach to purchasing Christmas gifts remains varied and linked to factors such as age, gender and personal preferences, it is clear that Italians are becoming increasingly oriented towards online and re-commerce. Ultimately, this trend, along with consumers' growing awareness of the importance of planning and budgeting, could lead to a more sustainable and conscious holiday shopping landscape in the future.
We will only be able to sum up the Christmas shopping at the end of the holidays.