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What sectors look merry for festive season gift giving?

two players in front of a television holding gaming remote controllers

Retailers will be banking the benefits as new research shows Australians are putting gift cards at the top of their Christmas wish list.

New research conducted by global data and insights company, Pureprofile Limited (ASX: PPL), shows Australians want gift cards for technology and home-based hobby equipment this year.

Beauty products like skincare, cosmetics and fragrances look likely to see a drop in demand, as lockdown restrictions ease, allowing customers to visit salons and stores in person.

Gift cards are an easy way to send a present, especially if pandemic travel restrictions continue.

Some businesses are seeing supply chain disruption, so the emphasis on gift cards means businesses will gain the cash, and the redemption for products is likely to be made at a later date, if at all.

Pureprofile’s 2021 Christmas report reveals that Australians want convenient and entertaining gifts.

  • 43% of Australians are hoping to receive gift cards for Christmas this year
  • Technology has seen the largest increase in both gifting and receiving since 2020
  • Just 19% of Australians are hoping to receive beauty products like skincare, cosmetics and fragrances this year, a drop from 23% in 2020
  • 62% of gift budgets will be unaffected this year, up from 54% in 2020
  • 46% of Australians expect to shop for Christmas online

With digital connectedness becoming more important during the pandemic, technology was the only gift category to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 23% looking forward to a tech-based present this year (up from 19% in 2020)

The report found most Australians want a degree of choice when it comes to their Christmas presents, with 2 out of 5 hoping to receive a gift card this year.

This marks a return to pre-pandemic levels of demand for gift cards (44% in 2019). Gardening equipment (12%, up from 9% in 2020) and books (22%, up from 19% in 2020) have also seen increases in gift expectations as home-based hobbies continue to grow in popularity.

Interest in beauty products has plummeted. Demand for makeup, fragrances and skincare has steadily stepped down from 27% in 2019, and 23% in 2020 to 19% in 2021 as working from home becomes increasingly prevalent among the Australian workforce and events remain virtual.

Consumer behaviour appears to be aligning with society’s progression to a cashless ecosystem. Almost half (46%) of Australians will be purchasing their gifts online this year and most (69%) will be doing so well in advance of December in anticipation of delivery delays during the period.

International travel restrictions will also see 53% of Australians expecting to celebrate Christmas via video call with friends and family overseas. Consequently, this will impact overseas gifting and deliveries: 58% of Australians plan to shop online to be delivered directly to the recipient and about a third expect to purchase from an overseas provider.


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