As Christmas day approaches we thought we’d look into numbers behind the presents. We spoke to a cross section of Christmas lovers in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea to understand more about their Christmas buying habits.
The good news is, if you’re in a relationship you’re much more likely to be getting a present this year. Over half of the people we spoke to (53%) will be buying a gift for their partner, by far the most likely recipient in the study. The next highest was buying a present for a parent (25%) or another family member (25%). However just over a quarter of those we spoke to (21%) do not intend on buying any presents this Christmas.
Across the markets studied, Koreans are the biggest givers. 9 in 10 Koreans (88%) will give someone a present this year, with three quarters (63%) of Koreans buying for their partner and a third (33%) for their parent. In contrast Japan are much more conservative in their present giving, only three-quarters will be facing the Christmas shopping frenzy (75%) with only 13% of those we spoke to considering buying a present for their parents. This is in line with Malaysia – a country much less likely to celebrate Christmas given its high Muslim population.
Sometimes a common assumption is that women are bigger present givers than men. However, our data suggests there’s much more equality in present giving than you might think. In fact, men (80%) are slightly more likely to be buying a present than women (77%). And this trend is found across the markets, in fact Hong Kong men are significantly more likely to be buying a present than their female counterparts (83% versus 70% respectively).
The recipient of presents does vary with gender however. Men are much more focused on their partner, with 60% buying a present for their partner and only 46% of women doing the same. Women, though, are more willing to share the Christmas spirit – much more likely to buy presents for friends (24%) and siblings (18%) than men (15% and 8% respectively). Does this mean men are much more doting on their partners than women, in the face of their friends and family – or do they just expect their partners to do all the other present buying is a question our survey can’t answer!
We also looked at how many different friends, family members and colleagues people would be shopping for. In general respondents have 3 extended family members in mind when shopping (beyond parents, siblings and partners); but up to 5 key friends and colleagues to buy for. Women are more likely to buy more presents for their friends and colleagues as well, a third (33%) looking to buy 5 or more presents for colleagues versus about 1 in 10 for men (12%).
But not all recipients are created equal. Partners will have the most spend on their Christmas presents. Three-quarters (73%) of Singaporean consumers we spoke to will spend SG$100 or more on their partner. In contrast, consumers will spend less than SG$100 on friends (71% agree) and less than SG$50 on colleagues (69% agree).
Singaporean men suggest they are more likely to splash the cash on their partner, nearly half (48%) saying they will spend more than SG$200, compared to less than a third of women (28%). Women in contrast are more likely to spread their spending, consistently spending more on friends, colleagues and other family members than their male counter parts.
And the big question – what are they going to buy?! Well, it seems people are still undecided. At the start of December – when we asked consumers – two-thirds (62%) said they had not yet decided what they would buy for their partner. Malaysians seem more certain on their shopping list – only 47% still undecided. But Koreans are left scratching their heads as they look through the malls – 70% are still not sure.
So, it seems as brands fight to have the best Christmas ad and be the proud maker of the ‘must-have’ Christmas present, there’s still time to convince shoppers yours is the perfect gift for someone’s someone.