Christmas Shopping Habits by Demographic

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In general, the average home spends around £2,000 a month — yet at Christmas our spending patterns increase drastically. In 2018, shoppers in the UK were recorded spending an average of £821 per person. At a time of technology dominating our everyday lives, the value of ecommerce has increased almost two-fold over the last three years.

But how do each demographics’ Christmas shopping habits differ? We’ll take a look in this week’s Mediaworks blogpost.


As a generation who has grown up surrounded by technology, it comes as no surprise that millennials do the majority of their Christmas shopping online. Being technologically savvy combined with the financial resources to splash cash is ideal for this demographic at Christmas time. Even when millennials brace the Christmas crowds and do a spot of in-store shopping, they’ll still rely on their phones to glance over reviews and product information. Research by Prosper notes that online accessibility, a strong digital presence, diversity and delivery offers are likely to draw millennials in at this busy period.

The art of gift-giving is certainly achieved by millennials. Their Christmas shopping has been found to be more diversified across shopping categories than any other generation. According to research, a growing trend is an increase in ‘experience’ gifts, such as travelling, eating out, music concerts and spa retreats, with a declining preference for physical presents.

Gen Z

Surprisingly, Gen Z have been found by research to be less likely to shop online than millennials and Gen X. This isn’t wholly due to preference, but also that younger ages don’t have debit cards or much money to indulge in online Christmas shopping. Gen Z prefer in-store shopping experiences, as it is also an opportunity to meet up with friends and hang out in town.

A considerable portion of gift ideas of Gen Z are inspired by social media platforms, both Gen Z and millennials are three times more likely to purchase gifts seen on Instagram. This makes social media influencers more effective than celebrities when influencing the younger generations’ Christmas shopping decisions.

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are often alienated by retailers as the general focus of marketers around Christmas is to target the younger generations to secure loyalty in the long-term. However, baby boomers aren’t the stereotypical angry elder with a deep burning hatred of technology and foam at the mouth when it’s mentioned.

Many boomers aren’t technophobes and are prepared to shop online. However, they are discouraged by being underrepresented online. Research by Yes Marketing states that baby boomers’ shopping habits are primarily focused around convenience as well as high-quality, personalised customer service. They prefer to get their information about gifts in-store rather than committing to purchases online that they may later change their mind about when they come into contact with it.

Curious about how your brand can stand out to different demographics during the Christmas period? Contact our team in the form below or contact us today.


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