New research shows the importance of catering to last minute Christmas shoppers

Christmas is a time for family, friends, love and Christmas TV, and new research shows that one more thing that people do during Christmas is…Christmas shopping.

Forty percent of British shoppers have admitted, in new research from Klarna, the European payments provider, that they won’t finish their festive shopping until a week or less before the big day compared to the 30% that finish three weeks in advance.

The research, which interviewed 2,000 UK consumers, found that it is not younger people who are more likely to do the last minute Christmas shop but actually 45-54-year-olds. A staggering 50% of this age group have admitted that their shopping won’t be done until there’s less than a week to go to the big day. Millennials on the other hand appear to have everything under control as nearly 40% of millennials have their shopping done and dusted at least three weeks in advance. Within that shopping, 40% of the money goes on gifts and 20% is spent on groceries.

The report also highlights the importance of promotions that merchants should bear in mind: 54% of shoppers have said they are more likely to spend money at shops that have festival deals and pre-Christmas sales (46%).

E-commerce is an extremely important option for last-minute shoppers as 56% of them will shop online in the evenings. Combined with last minute shoppers’ pattern of impulse buying and veering off the shopping list provides merchants with a good opportunity.

Klarna’s report also enforces the belief that easy payment experience is becoming more and more crucial to the longevity of merchants. It said that last minute shoppers are more likely to shop with a merchant if paying is quick and easy (34% vs 24%), if there are last minute deliveries (19% vs 15%) and if the merchant has an easy to navigate mobile site (15% vs 10%).

Luke Griffiths, UK General Manager of Klarna said, “While the frenzy of Black Friday may be over, there is still plenty of opportunity for retailers to capitalise on festive spending, particularly online. Merchants are in a great position to lessen the Christmas shopping burden and appeal to these last minute shoppers with targeted offers, a streamlined, hassle-free experience and flexible payment options.

He also said that it is important to understand the needs of different shoppers during the festive period and practices such as optimising e-commerce offerings can provide merchants with a competitive advantage.

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