A Third of Australians Turn to Online Shopping for Christmas

Survey of 1000 Australians learns attitudes towards intended 2021 Christmas spending
Published on December 10th, 2021
  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 and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
Our authors
   Commentary by 
Bill Tsouvalas

Guest Contributor

Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.
A third of Australians turn to online shopping for Christmas

At Savvy, our mission is to empower you to make informed financial choices. While we maintain stringent editorial standards, this article may include mentions of products offered by our partners. Here’s how we generate income.

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

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

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

What measures are you taking to reduce spending this year?

No Data Found

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]

Savvy 2021 Christmas Spending Survey (n=1000)


Savvy 2023 Christmas Spending Survey 

Savvy Black Friday 2022 Survey


Did you find this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

In this article

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on pinterest

Smart money saving tips

Subscribe to our newsletter.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy

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.

Latest media releases

A third of Australians turn to online shopping for Christmas

We'd love to chat, how can we help?

By clicking "Submit", you agree to be contacted by a Savvy broker and to receive communications from Savvy which you can unsubscribe from at any time. Read our Privacy Policy.