Sunday, 23 January, 2022

Good deals, promotions … how the French are preparing for Christmas

The decorations in the streets and shop windows remind everyone: Christmas is coming. The purchasing race has already started and with it, the farandole of studies analyzing the budget and consumption of the French at this time of the year. And for good reason: “the Christmas period is a period of hyperconsumption during which major consumer trends emerge and sometimes even tenfold”, indicates Céline François, marketing director at Cofidis. Since last year, the consumer credit specialist has been carrying out a study with CSA Research on “the French budget and good deals for Christmas”.

Result: the budget devoted by the French to the whole celebration (gifts but also meals, decoration, clothing, etc.) amounts to an average of 571 euros. “The median budget is 448 euros against 460 euros last year,” says Céline François, a sign that this budget remains constrained. And on this overall budget, gifts remain the first item of expenditure. On average, 340 euros will be used to spoil those close to them. An amount almost identical to that obtained from the OpinionWay survey for Proximis on the French and Christmas shopping. This noted 342 euros in spending on gifts, “or 12% less than 6 years ago”. The Kantar TNS study for eBay points to an average gift budget of 246 euros, against 261 euros last year. A budget that weighs heavily for the wallet of the French: the financial side of the Christmas party is stressful for one in three French people, recalls the study.

Despite a tight budget, “it remains important for the French to please” notes Camille Bailleul, marketing manager at eBay in France. One in three French people say they are stressed about finding the perfect gift according to the Kantar TNS study for the e-commerce platform. And it is the children who appear to be the easiest to fill according to the same survey – their gifts are often bought first. “The French do not want to cut corners despite financial difficulties in particular. The most important thing for them is to please their loved ones”, also notes Céline François from Cofidis.

Anticipate purchases and expenses

So how do the French plan to go about it? First of all, by anticipating as much as possible the purchases of gifts. “66% of them start their purchases before December”, explains Céline François. 29% even start them in October. If some start their search for gifts very early, others also anticipate the expenses that the Christmas party will generate: this is the case for two thirds of French people according to the same study. Half of them put money aside throughout the year. “The French also take advantage of the payment facilities, in three or four installments,” notes Céline François. One in ten turns to this solution.

Anticipating, this also allows the French to take advantage of promotional periods, before Christmas, in particular Black Friday. “Black Friday is generally the starting point for Christmas shopping” confirms Camille Bailleul of eBay. The weekend at the end of November is often synonymous with record sales for e-commerce platforms. Cdiscount thus welcomed a business volume of 57 million euros during Black Friday 2018 against 43 million last year. Unearthing good deals is one of the arguments put forward by the French who plan to fill their hoods thanks to the Internet.

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Booming e-commerce

This is indeed a strong trend: the French are increasingly adopting e-commerce for end-of-year festive races. “20% of French people plan to make more Christmas purchases through e-commerce than last year”, underlines Camille Bailleul. And 37% think they shop more online than in-store. The finding is the same in the CSA Research survey for Cofidis France: the proportion of French people who think of doing their Christmas shopping only online has increased by 4 points a year, to 18%, while those who will only do so online. in stores fell 5 points to 27%.

Benefiting from the best prices is an online purchase motivation for nearly one in two French people according to the OpinionWay study for Proximis. As well as the fact of not being constrained by schedules. Another advantage of e-commerce cited by 58% of French people: avoiding the crowd. Even if the French are worried about delivery times and costs and the inability to try the product, e-commerce is therefore booming. The diversity of the online offer makes it possible “to find personalized gifts”, adds the marketing manager at eBay France. Even get your hands on products sold out in store.

But if Christmas is often synonymous with hyperconsumption, some French people seek to reconcile this holiday with a responsible approach. They are even 41% to say to opt for ethical gifts in connection with their values ​​according to the Observatory E.Leclerc of the new consumptions. And 11% give gifts they make themselves. A solution that can sometimes relieve the wallet while giving pleasure.


– CSA Research survey for Cofidis France carried out from October 9 to 15 with a sample of 1,000 French people aged 18 and over.
– Kantar TNS study for eBay carried out in October with a sample of 1,461 French people aged 16 to 64.
– OpinionWay study for Proximis: the French and Christmas shopping – October 2018 carried out on a sample of 1,004 people aged 18 and over
– The Observatory of New Consumptions E; Leclerc: study conducted in October by Ipsos for E.Leclerc on a sample of 2,000 French people aged 18 to 70.