After polling a nationally representative sample of Pureprofile panel members, the research revealed insights into how the hardships and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic are set to change the way Australians celebrate Christmas.
Compared to 2019, this Christmas will have less spending, socialising and traveling, with an increased focus on exploring local attractions. Across the board, Aussies have lowered their expectations for the upcoming festive season, which coincides with a lower rate of spending.
The majority of Australians (82%) are planning on spending time locally this festive season, by exploring their own state (before COVID-19, this was at 24%). Additionally, 39% are planning on doing more shopping with local companies.
Will you be travelling over the festive season?
If there was no COVID-19 virus present and international travel was an option, 16% of Australians would choose to travel overseas (up from 11% in 2019). Additionally, interstate travel has decreased with just 10% of respondents indicating that they have interstate travel plans in 2020, compared to 17% in 2019.
Pureprofile CEO, Martin Filz commented: “It’s clear that COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the Christmas travel plans of the majority of Australians this year, with most set to stay close to home while supporting local suppliers and producers.”
Contrary to Federal Budget hopes, the research also found that spending habits were set to change, with just 20% planning on spending over $500 on gifts this year. In 2019, this was almost 30%. There is also a drop in spending cash to pay for gifts, with half (50%) planning on paying via debit cards. This is in line with the research indicating that more people don’t want gifts this year, with 10% of Australians saying that they won’t buy any gifts this festive season (6% in 2019). Close to half (40%) indicated that they hoped to receive gift cards, while 48% said they wanted to receive money.
How are you planning to pay for gifts this festive season?
The research also asked respondents about their mental health, with Australians reporting that feelings of loneliness have almost doubled from 8% last year to 15% this year.
Pureprofile CEO, Martin Filz said: “These figures are telling. We’re a population struggling with the new normal caused by COVID-19 this Christmas. We’re watching our wallets and only spending money that we are absolutely certain we have. It’s still unclear what COVID-19 will bring in the new year; whether that’s more waves of the disease or the vaccine we’re all hopeful for. It’s clear from this research that the uncertainty is having a big impact on consumer behaviour and spending habits.”
Additional areas covered in the research include Australian beliefs on religion and spirituality, online spending habits and the emotions felt by Australians towards the festive season.
 Research carried out by Pureprofile, September 2020, 577 respondents from across Australia