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36 per cent to do majority of Christmas shopping online this year

Shoppers move online for Christmas gifts – citing “crowds” and “traffic” as hurdles to in-store shopping

Monday December 5, 2011: According to a new survey conducted by online experience retailer RedBalloon.com.au, online shopping is more popular than ever with 36 per cent of respondents conducting the majority of their Christmas shopping online. This is a dramatic increase from only two per cent five years ago.

According to more than 2300 people who completed the survey, shoppers are moving online in a bid to avoid crowded shopping centres (32 per cent) as well as traffic congestion and parking struggles (18 per cent) during the festive season.

These new findings are also supported by recent traffic source data that, compared to last year, shows three times as many visitors to the RedBalloon website are arriving as a result of Google search terms related to gifting.

In short, more people are looking for gifts – or gift ideas – online.

According to RedBalloon CEO Jemma Fastnedge, “This is both a reflection of the growth in popularity of online shopping, as well as an increasing recognition of the RedBalloon brand and what it represents in gifting.”

“The survey shows that almost half (49 per cent) of respondents would prefer an experience gift over a gift voucher (20 per cent), a material gift (19 per cent) or money (12 per cent).

RedBalloon was built on the philosophy of sharing meaningful experiences with the people you love – creating wonderful memories and stories that can be told and re-told, long after the footbath you gave your mother-in-law in 1999 started gathering dust in the back of the cupboard.

“It’s great to see that consumers are responding to what we offer.”

In addition to more than 2,500 experiences available online at RedBalloon, shoppers can also choose from a range of gift cards and experience boxes in Target, BigW, Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores across the country, which are purchased in-store and redeemed online via the RedBalloon website.

“These in-store products are helping to bridge the gap between the online and in-store retail worlds, and show that the two can work very well together,” Ms Fastnedge said.

“We have seen the sales of BigW experience boxes increase by 62 per cent compared to the same time last year. And this week alone has seen a 28 per cent increase on the week before.

“We also have an in-store gift registry in Myer which has seen a whopping 450 per cent increase in the last 12 months.

“For us it’s about giving consumers choice about where, when and how they want to shop, and making it as easy as we can for them to have a great experience from start to finish.

“And this is especially important at Christmas when people are feeling the pressure to get things done before the 25 December deadline.”

But apparently it doesn’t matter whether you buy in-store or online when it comes to actually deciding what to buy for someone – more than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents hate having to think of what to buy people year after year.

So maybe that’s why 55 per cent of us admit to re-gifting; and 70 per cent of respondents suspect they have been the target of re-gifting.

This could also explain why a whopping 92 per cent of respondents have had to pretend they liked a gift received in the past, with 61 per cent admitting that gift was “shoved in the back of the cupboard”. 21 per cent tried to re-gift it, again.

Other key findings from the survey

2350 respondents, nationwide

85% of respondents were female

50% were aged between 30 and 50 years

45% spend between $50-$99 per person on gifts

58% spend more than $500 total on Christmas gifts

63% spend more than 5 hours shopping for Christmas gifts

This year 36% of respondents will do the majority of their Christmas shopping online. Five years ago this figure was only 2%

55% admit to re-gifting a present we didn’t like, while 70% of respondents suspect they have been the target of re-gifting

Only 5% of respondents claim to never have been a victim of re-gifting

55% of people shop in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with only 12 per cent opting for last minute Christmas Eve shopping

49% of respondents would prefer an experience gift over a gift voucher (20 per cent), a material gift (19 per cent) or money (12 per cent)


* Survey completed online by 2350 respondents from October 25 – November 23

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For more information or images, please contact:

Lauren Ashton, Communications Specialist - 02 8755 0034 / 0404 136 765 /lauren@redballoon.com.au

About RedBalloon

RedBalloon has been giving people the chance to fulfil their dreams for a decade in Australia and New Zealand. With thousands of Unique Gift Ideas & Experience Gift Vouchers like Race Car Driving, Hot Air Ballooning, Horse Riding on the Beach, Tiger Moth Flights to Massages, Romantic Dinners and Getaways, RedBalloon has the perfect present for any occasion. RedBalloon Experience Vouchers, Gift Certificates and Gift Boxes can be purchased online or in selectedretail outlets.