A Third of Australians Turn to Online Shopping for Christmas

Survey of 1000 Australians learns attitudes towards intended 2021 Christmas spending
Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au, Auto Talk, CleanTechnica, The Latch, Newcastle Herald, The Examiner, Illawarra Mercury, Professional Planner, New Idea, Canberra Times, Bendigo Advertiser, The Courier, Evee.com.au, MSN, The Australian, Stockhead, Yahoo Lifestyle, Smart Company, Yahoo Finance, Money Management, Proactive Investors, Glam Adelaide, Your Life Choices, Investor Daily, Real Estate Business, Homely.com.au, Money Mag, Yahoo News, Elite Agent, The West, Crikey.com.au, Yahoo Sports, AIB.edu.au, Domain.com.au, Nine.com.au, Mortgage Business, The New Daily, MPAMag, and NestEgg.com.au. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
Our authors
, updated on December 5th, 2022       

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According to a new survey of 1,000 Australians regarding their spending habits this Christmas commissioned by Savvy, about a third of respondents said they will do most of their shopping for 2021 online. 

  • 63% say Christmas spending plans unaffected by Covid pandemic
  • 32% say they will do most of their shopping online this year
  • People will spend a combined average of $1059 on gifts
  • Women will spend three times as much as men, 65+s expected to splurge
  • 71% will pay for Christmas expenses with savings
A third of Australians turn to online shopping for Christmas

As for the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions, 33% say it will have an insignificant impact on their spending habits, while 30% are neutral. Only 9% said COVID impacted them very significantly.

As for their spending habits, 47% will spend the same amount on gifts as last year, while 13% will spend more. 33% said they will spend less than last year, while 8% won’t buy gifts at all.

42% of the 18-24 cohort (n=119) said they will spend less, as will 40% of the 25-34 cohort (n=192). In real numbers, the average spend on gifts among the 18-24s will be $386 and $574 for 25-34s. Grandkids will feel spoiled by the 65+s numbers: they intend to spend an average of $2,916.

How significantly will the Covid pandemic affect your Christmas spending plans?

No Data Found

How much are you planning to spend in total this Christmas?

No Data Found

Victorians (n=253) also intended to spend the most on gifts, averaging $2550; five times as much as other states.

The total average spend of Australians this Christmas will total up to $1656, when gifts ($1059), food ($209), alcohol ($103), travel ($113), decorations ($58) and eating out ($114) are taken into consideration.

When asked how they intend to fund Christmas purchases this year, a whopping 71% answered savings. Credit cards was the second largest means, though represented only 16%. 

How much do you intend to spend on each of the following?

Type Total Male Female Other
Gifts / Presents
Eating / Drinking Out
Christmas Related Items

What kinds of gifts are you most likely to buy this Christmas?

No Data Found

Who Gets What

Don’t be surprised if your present this year comes in an envelope or over email – 45% say they’re getting gift cards or vouchers for friends and family – 47% of men and 44% of women respectively.

40% said they would be buying toys, 31% say clothing or apparel, 21% say inexpensive novelty gifts, and 20% say money. A quarter (24%) may actually get “what they want or need” under the Christmas tree.

As of publication, your Christmas present may already be on the way – 12% say they will do 80-100% of their shopping online – which if extrapolated to the wider population suggests 2.3 million adult Australians.

On the main, 43% of Australians will do at least 40% of their Christmas shopping online.

“Despite mail delays and shortages for electronics, Australians have taken to online shopping with vigour. Some may be used to it due to extended lockdowns; others just like the convenience,” says Bill Tsouvalas, Managing Director at Savvy. “32% say they want to avoid crowds; but 30% say they will shop anywhere there are bargains. Not even pandemics can stop Australians from hunting down a bargain!”

Bill Tsouvalas

What measures are you taking to reduce spending this year?

No Data Found

Will the pandemic influence how you intend to do your Christmas shopping this year? 

Total Male Female Other
I will do most of my shopping online
I will do most of my shopping in-store
I will do my shopping depending on offers and availability
I’m unsure

The traditional Boxing Day sales have been supplanted by American import Black Friday/Cyber Monday; 37% say that they’ve taken to Black Friday sales to save on purchases; 36% say they’ve looked online for cheaper prices. Only 20% are looking forward to Boxing Day bargains. The best spending curb is not spending at all: 44% say they have set an agreed limit to what they’ll spend overall. For those who do have major purchases planned ahead of time, though not the available funds to finance them, seeking a personal loan may be a more cost effective path than relying on the credit card. 

“It seems like Australians are content to make a happy Christmas time and forget about the year that’s gone by,” Tsouvalas says. “It’ll be music to the ears of retailers who have done it so tough, too.”

Bill Tsouvalas

For media enquiries, please contact Adrian Edlington:  [email protected]

About Savvy

Savvy is one of Australia’s largest online financial brokers, focusing on personal and commercial financial products. Founded in 2010, the firm has seen rapid growth, a testament to their provision of market leading rates and reaching customers with the latest in media and technology. Savvy is a proud supporter of Kids Under Cover, a charity assisting homeless and at-risk youth to strengthen their bonds to community and education. Savvy was named one of BRW’s fastest growing companies in 2015.

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