Research - 05.12.2016 - 00:00
6 December 2016. What products are on the wish lists? This question was investigated by academics of the Institute of Retail Management at the University of St.Gallen (IRM-HSG). More than 3,000 customers in Germany, Austria and Eastern Switzerland were interviewed. Despite a decrease in Christmas spending, Swiss and Austrian nationals are still planning to spend more than people in Germany.
Although planned Christmas spending has decreased by 23 per cent in the last three years, Swiss and Austrian nationals are still spending distinctly more than Germans this year. In Germany, people are planning to spend EUR 247 on Christmas presents. In Austria and Switzerland, consumers are planning to spend EUR 324 and CHF 349, respectively, on Christmas presents, i.e. 30 per cent more than in Germany. Also, whereas German men and women spend about the same amount on Christmas presents, men in Austria and particularly in Switzerland are more generous than women (+15 per cent and +32 per cent, respectively). Finally, planned spending on Christmas presents also increases with age: in Switzerland it is highest among the over 65-year-olds with an average of CHF 425.
Internet and mail-order business particularly popular in Germany and Austria
For most Germans and Austrians, the internet and mail-order business is one of the most popular shopping variants. 21 per cent of Germans and 16 per cent of Austrians even indicate that they buy their Christmas presents exclusively through these channels. In Switzerland, this trend has been less pronounced so far. Only 8 per cent of customers exclusively use these channels for their Christmas shopping, whereas 42 per cent of Swiss nationals indicate that they buy their Christmas presents exclusively in shops. The largest group of customers, however, use the internet and mail-order business in combination with shops. The proportion of these cross-channel purchasers is 54 per cent in Germany and Austria and 45 per cent in Switzerland. To avoid losing customers, traders should therefore offer cross-channel services.
Shopping abroad on the increase
More and more Swiss people cross the border to do their Christmas shopping. Whereas three years ago, 44 per cent of Swiss nationals bought some of their Christmas presents abroad, the figure has risen to 54 per cent by now. 54 per cent of Austrians also buy some of their Christmas presents abroad, whereas 69 per cent of Germans indicate that they do their Christmas shopping exclusively at home. Shopping tourism is particularly pronounced among the younger target group. Among Swiss and Austrian nationals aged 16 to 24, 60 per cent indicate that they do their shopping abroad, whereas only 40 per cent of Swiss people and 42 per cent of Austrian people aged over 65 do so.
Experiences are in fashion
This year, consumers increasingly wish for immaterial experiences. Thus 33 per cent of Germans, 31 per cent of Austrians and 34 per cent of Swiss people would be pleased with admission tickets. Presents from the category of mobility and travel are also popular with 29 per cent of Germans, 38 per cent of Austrians and 40 per cent of Swiss people. In addition, women would often like to have clothes and shoes, whereas men are more likely to wish for electronic articles. As in previous years, books are one of the top presents for both genders. Detailed information about the three most popular categories according to country and gender can be found in the table.
Inspiration particularly in demand by more mature customers
Wish lists tend to become shorter with increasing age. Whereas 16-24-year-olds still indicate an average of four categories on their wish lists, over 65-year-olds only average two categories. Thus more mature customers appear to find it more difficult to find suitable presents. This calls for creative traders which inspire customers to arrive at new ideas.
Bild: Photocase / earthlinge