Pandemic Habits - Will COVID-19 steal Christmas?

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 21 October 2020

The uncertainty of COVID-19 will change the way Australians celebrate Christmas, according to research by ASX-listed martech Pureprofile.

This Christmas will be marked by less spending, socialising and traveling, with an increased focus on exploring local attractions.

Generally, Australians have lowered their expectations for the upcoming festive season, according to the survey in September of 577 people.

Luxury gifts will be shunned this year with just 20% of Australians spending more than $500; down from 30% in 2019.

One in ten (10%) won’t buy gifts at all this festive season - almost double 2019 (6%).

Feelings of loneliness have almost doubled, jumping from 8% in 2019 to 15% this year.

The majority of Australians (82%) are planning on spending time locally this festive season, by exploring their own state (before COVID-19, this was at 24%). Additionally, 39% are planning on doing more shopping with local companies.

“It’s clear that COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the Christmas travel plans of the majority of Australians this year, with most set to stay close to home while supporting local suppliers and producers,” says Pureprofile CEO Martin Filz. 

The research also asked respondents about their mental health, with Australians reporting that feelings of loneliness have almost doubled from 8% last year to 15% this year.

“These figures are telling. We’re a population struggling with the new normal caused by COVID-19 this Christmas,” says Filz.

“We’re watching our wallets and only spending money that we are absolutely certain we have. It’s still unclear what COVID-19 will bring in the new year; whether that’s more waves of the disease or the vaccine we’re all hopeful for. 

“It’s clear from this research that the uncertainty is having a big impact on consumer behaviour and spending habits.”


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