86% of consumers expecting ‘digital Christmas’


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Research of over 2,000 UK consumers from photo printing book app Motif Photos has revealed that 5 out of 6 UK consumers expect this year to be a ‘digital Christmas’ without the usual get-togethers of friends and family.

COVID-19 restrictions around the country will prevent us from following all of our favourite Christmas traditions such as spending the day with our wider friends and family together. Christmas will take place under our new sense of normal.

Two-thirds of people plan to make this year more special by placing extra emphasis on giving thoughtful, personalised gifts to spread the Christmas and holiday cheer from afar. 

This year’s ‘digital Christmas’ won’t just mean celebrating remotely; gift buying will take place online too. Three-quarters of consumers (75.4%) say they will buy presents online to avoid going to the shops.

However we won’t all be opening gifts in isolation. 41% of respondents said they will open gifts over Zoom (or via a video call) so that these precious moments can be shared with others. Four in ten consumers stated that they will create personalised gifts to give to family members they won’t see on Christmas day.

Almost a quarter (23%) plan to send out homemade or photo Christmas cards, one in seven (14%) will make their own gifts this year and 8% plan to share fond memories via a photobook.

Says Craig Bauer, global managing director at Motif Photos:

“2020 will be the year of the digital Christmas. Not only do we plan to do significantly more Christmas shopping online and earlier than ever due to COVID, we expect to be opening presents over Zoom or Facetime rather than visiting friends and family. Even the traditional visit to Santa is likely to happen virtually, with 8 out of 10 parents avoiding a visit to Santa’s Grotto.”

Top traditional activities that won’t take place this year are:

  • Attending Midnight Mass – 88% of those who went to Mass last year will not attend this year
  • Visiting Santa’s Grotto with Children – 81.4% of those who went to Santa’s Grotto last year do not expect to go this year
  • Going for Christmas drinks with friends – 81.2% of respondents who usually go out with friends at Christmas don’t think they’ll be able to this year 
  • Visiting a Christmas market – 80.7% of people who usually visit a Christmas market won’t go to one this year

Chris Price


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