Last-minute Christmas shopping is a thing of the past

BY Australian Retailers Association
13 December 2018

New research has revealed that 9 in 10 Aussies have already done their Christmas shopping, with just 11% leaving their shopping to December and only 4% leaving it to the week before Christmas.

The findings come from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1021 Australians commissioned by leading parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP). In the survey, CP asked respondents when they purchased their Christmas gifts in 2017, and when they expect to purchase their gifts in 2018. CP expected the results to reveal a majority of Australians leaving their gift shopping to the last minute, but found the opposite was true.

When asked about their gift shopping last year, nearly 9 in 10 (88 per cent) respondents said they had started purchasing their Christmas gifts by the end of the first week of December. With 41% began to purchase their gifts before November and 72% began their gift shopping before December.

When respondents were asked about their gift shopping this year, 92% indicated they would begin at least three weeks out from Christmas. A further 80% had already started their shopping before December. Surprisingly, only three 3 % of Aussies think they’ll leave Christmas shopping to the last minute this year – starting from the third week of December right until Christmas Eve.

While the results reveal that the majority of Aussies don’t leave gift shopping until the last minute, 70% of Aussies think they leave their gift shopping a little late for various reasons. The most common reason isn’t a lack of organisation (the reason chosen by 19% of respondents).

In fact, the most common reason was not knowing what to buy – chosen by 30 per cent of respondents. A further 19% said they were too busy with work commitments and life. The findings also reveal that one in three (30%) Aussies claim they feel they never leave their gift shopping a little late.


CP’s top 5 tips for last-minute Christmas shoppers

  • Be aware of cut-off dates. Major retailers have order cut-off dates generally around the second week of December to guarantee deliveries arrive in time for Christmas. However, check with each online retailer as these will all differ. To ensure you don’t miss out, consider subscribing to the e-newsletters of your favourite retailers to receive up-to-date order cut-off reminders.


  • Consider click and collect. If you’ve missed out on your retailer’s order cut-off date, find out whether your favourite retailers offer click and collect. This allows you to order online then pick up your purchase in store. Some popular retailers that offer this service include David Jones, Myer, Kmart, JB Hi-Fi and Rebel.


  • Take advantage of alternative delivery methods. If you are leaving your Christmas shopping to the last couple of weeks before Christmas, take advantage of alternative delivery methods offered by your parcel company.


  • Do an online stock check. For those who prefer to shop in person and see a product before purchasing, find out if your favourite retailer has an online stock check for your preferred location. It’ll save you time and effort by preventing you from travelling to a store only to find out that the item isn’t available.


  • Find out your shopping centre’s extended trading hours. In the last few weeks leading up to Christmas, shopping centres stay open later to accommodate last-minute shoppers. Check your preferred shopping centre’s extended trading hours to help organise your dedicated shopping hours before Christmas. Most stores will stay open until between 9pm to midnight in the final weeks – with some even offering 24-hour trade.

The survey is based on 1021 Australian respondents who made at least three online purchases in the last six months.


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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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