Holiday shopping in Australia: how consumers find what to buy & how early most start their shopping

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
November 23, 2023, 4:30 AM GMT+0

As Black Friday offers make way for Christmas specials, retailers across the country are gearing up for Australia’s busiest shopping season.

But how do consumers in Australia find holiday shopping ideas – and how far in advance do they start their holiday shopping?

How early do consumers in Australia typically start holiday shopping?

Latest YouGov Surveys research shows that half of consumers say they usually begin shopping for holidays they celebrate between 3 weeks to 3 months in advance: 28% do so 3-4 weeks before, while 22% do so 2-3 months prior.

  • Around a fifth start holiday shopping closer to the event: 14% do so 1-2 weeks in advance, while 8% do so on the week of the event itself.
  • Less than one in ten begin their festive shopping more than a month in advance: 5% do so 4-6 months before, while 4% do so more than half a year prior.

Meanwhile, 16% of consumers say they do not engage in holiday shopping around specific celebrations.

How do consumers in Australia discover what to buy during holiday seasons?

Close to half (47%) of consumers say they use search engines – the most popular source of holiday shopping ideas – to identify products to buy for the festive celebrations.

  • Family/friends/colleagues (42%) are the next most popular source, ahead of other web-based sources like retailer websites / apps (40%) and online reviews and recommendations (33%).
  • Around a quarter also turn to social media platforms (29%) and TV ads (24%) rounding out the top six most popular sources of festive purchase ideas.

Analysing by generation, however, reveals that Gen X are significantly more likely than other generations to turn to search engines to discover what to buy (55% vs 47% of Baby Boomers, 45% for Millennials and 38% of Gen Z).

Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to rely on the social feedback of family/friends/colleagues (52% vs 43% of Gen Z, 41% of Gen X and 32% of Baby Boomers) and online reviews and recommendations (43% vs 37% of Gen Z, 30% of Gen X and 25% of Baby Boomers) for identifying holiday shopping ideas.

Additionally, younger consumers are more likely to consult social media platforms (41% of Gen Z and Millennials) than older consumers (27% of Gen X and 14% of Baby Boomers).

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 510 and 2,044 for each market. All surveys were conducted online during September 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Cover photo by blackCAT