With Christmas only 100 days away, new research reveals it takes consumers in Scotland 43 online and in-store shopping trips and 21 hours of planning to get ready for the festive day.
However, the study from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback shopping site, finds that while Christmas may be the time for giving and good cheer, it is also the time for procrastinating and inefficiency.
The majority (77 per cent) of consumers in Scotland admit to getting distracted and not achieving what they want from Christmas shopping trips. And 57 per cent put off festive buying for as long as possible.
This culminates in online and offline browsers dilly-dallying away seven hours of their time when they should have been shopping. This adds up to a bill of over £49 in unnecessary coffees, long lunches, and buying things for themselves rather than gifts for others. When it comes to online distractions, consumers in Scotland get waylaid researching what they are going to purchase (68 per cent), logging in to Facebook (49 per cent) and watching videos (21 per cent).
The reasons behind this procrastination are that more than half (52 per cent) of people do not know what to buy their friends and family, which is surprising given the 21 hours of planning most consumers spend preparing for Christmas. Of people in Scotland, 46 per cent find the shops too busy and 37 per cent are overwhelmed by the expense of it all. A further 17 per cent say the prep is too stressful and two per cent think shopping is downright boring.
Despite the tendency to put off scouring for gifts, consumers in Scotland still have the best intentions and would ideally like everything completed by mid-December (41 per cent) or the end of November (28 per cent). But, if past records are to go by, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) will not have it finished until Christmas Eve.
Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for TopCashback.co.uk, said: “Christmas, and especially the build up to it, can be a stressful time. There are often so many things that need to be done and bought ahead of the event as people want to make the festive season special. TopCashback helps take some of the pressure off by bringing together all the retailers people love. It also aids keeping spending under control as members get money back on purchases made.”
Santa’s little helpers… or hinderers
The majority (85 per cent) of people in Scotland believe they are more efficient shoppers when they are on their own as nine in 10 (90 per cent) are able to focus on the job at hand. More than a quarter (28 per cent) end up looking for what the other person needs, rather than what they intended to buy and 25 per cent are distracted by companions.
It seems the worst shopping buddies are partners (50 per cent) and kids (21 per cent). Conversely, of those who do find it easier to shop with someone else, partners also come out on top as around a third (32 per cent) say they keep them focused and Mum is, of course, a helpful accomplice (23 per cent).
While the majority may struggle with festive preparations, an eager 11 per cent of consumers in Scotland started planning for Christmas back in January, immediately after the last one. And at this point in 2015, four per cent had even completed all their errands excluding purchasing perishables.
Of those who are not distracted while Christmas shopping, the majority (88 per cent) say it is because they shop online, two-thirds (66 per cent) plan our what to get everyone before they go shopping and 38 per cent write a list and stick to it.