Covid restrictions conducive to earlier Christmas shopping

PayPal survey finds lockdown driving consumers to buy presents online and locally

PayPal’s Maeve Dorman: “As we approach Christmas,  the shift towards digital and contactless payments is even more prevalent than normal.”

PayPal’s Maeve Dorman: “As we approach Christmas, the shift towards digital and contactless payments is even more prevalent than normal.”

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Ongoing measures to suppress the Covid pandemic have spurred a third of people in Ireland to shop earlier for Christmas, with consumers expecting to buy half their gifts online, a new survey has claimed.

The survey conducted by payments company PayPal found the lockdown had spurred people on to get ahead of the seasonal shopping, with more than a quarter saying they would prefer not to visit shops in person.

The research, carried out by Censuswide on behalf of PayPal, questioned 1,000 consumers throughout Ireland. It found people were most concerned over item availability and delivery times.

Almost half of those surveyed said they started early in a bid to avoid the last-minute stress, and 27 per cent said they would rather not visit shops in person.

Buy local

Campaigns to persuade people to buy locally showed some success, with 62 per cent saying they were making the effort to buy locally and from smaller retailers during the latest lockdown.

Some 80 per cent said they spent more with local retailers this Christmas to support them during Covid-19.

The average spend on Christmas gifts was €541, the survey found, with the biggest spenders in Louth, Westmeath and Leitrim, where shoppers spent €1,079, €870 and €852 respectively.

“Lockdown has completely transformed how people are spending their money and it is interesting to see how many people are shopping earlier. As we approach Christmas – the busiest shopping period of the year which is well underway following Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the shift towards digital and contactless payments is even more prevalent than normal,” said Maeve Dorman, vice-president of merchant operations EMEA at PayPal.

‘Community spirit’

“As well as more of a reliance on online shopping, which will only continue to grow, our research shows that Irish consumers are planning to spend more with local and smaller retailers this year.

“It’s fantastic to see that community spirit is alive and well in Ireland, particularly during these more difficult times. We hope that these businesses can take full advantage of the Christmas spending boom by offering a safe, convenient and customer-friendly experience both in-store and online.

PayPal’s platform is used by more than 350 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets globally.

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