Christmas presents under tree

Digital MFG likely to aid consumer product Christmas boom

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Christmas gift sales are set to lift the consumer product market, with a forecast £31.9Bn boost to the British economy as consumers seek a Christmas to remember.

More than two thirds (66.84%) of the British public say this year’s Christmas will be more emotional or important than it was before the pandemic, with almost half (49.4%) planning to spend more on gifts and celebrating as a result.

Although the findings have been produced with a focus on retailers, the news is of interest to the consumer goods development industry which is still struggling to get products to market – with setbacks like the pandemic, Brexit and shipping woes having made 2021 painful.

The findings are from the survey of 2,000 UK consumers by Quantum Metric, a digital insights platform, which reveals shoppers plan to spend an average of £489 each on gifts, an increase of 64% on 2019.

Results show a direct correlation between emotion and increased festive spending. More than half (54.81%) of those who said Christmas will be more important to them this year, were likely to spend more than they did in 2019.

Of those who saw this Christmas as less important, only 25% planned to spend more. In addition, more than half (51.85%) of consumers said they would choose gifts with a personal tie to the recipient – making elements like personalisation and customisation a key trend – however, only a fifth (19.9%) of those surveyed planning to shop for luxury goods.

In more evidence of the ecommerce acceleration, mobile shoppers were the most generous, planning to spend an average of £509 on Christmas gifts this year, totalling a potential economic boost of £29B, and online shoppers plan to spend an average of £497.

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In further signs of high street woe, in-store shoppers planned to spend the least at only £465.

Other things of note for design teams rushing new products to market in time for the boom of the festive season is that shopping is likely to begin earlier this year – which could see more manufacturing shifting to faster or more localised methods of production.

46.55% will start their Christmas shopping in September/October, with only 12.10% leaving it to Black Friday and around 6%  cutting it fine until the last week.

“These results show that the barrier between digital and physical shopping is dissolving,” said Quantum Metric RVP, EMEA Alex Thomson. “As retailers move towards the autumn code freeze, it’s clear that the key to success is increasingly linked to the buyer’s emotional state.

In news that will be welcome news to teams that have invested in on demand digital manufacturing capabilities this year, Thomson concludes that the online experience for customers has to be positive, seamless and personal to them and their needs, and that “ecommerce products need to reflect this”.