Thirty Percent of Australians Expect to Spend Less on Gifts During Christmas

Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed will look at AI to buy presents

SYDNEY, Oct. 18, 2023 – Sitecore®,a global leader in end-to-end digital experience software, today revealed its third annual Holiday Report and found that Australian shoppers are poised to be more cautious about the purchases they make than in previous seasons due to the impact of inflation on prices.

Cost of living pressures will dampen spending by Australian consumers this holiday season, with 30% of shoppers likely to spend less than a year ago.

The overall trend for less festive gift giving has been apparent for a few years. The 2022 Sitecore Christmas survey revealed the majority of Australian shoppers expected to spend the same amount as in 2021, while 20% of consumers said they planned to spend less a year ago.

Despite this, desire for ‘blow-out’ experiences and gift-giving remains, with shoppers saying they would likely cut back on their own personal expenditures in order to afford Christmas presents, and would look at using reward points, implementing “buy now pay later" services, or even sell possessions. Two in three surveyed said they may only buy presents for kids. Among the millennial generation, that number catapults to 76%.

“Retailers are under more pressure than ever to meet the needs of price-conscious Australians this holiday,” said Hannah Grap, interim chief marketing officer at Sitecore. “Throwing one-size-fits-all content at consumers simply won’t cut it if brands want to break through and engage with shoppers. Having a martech strategy in place that delivers content and experiences that are targeted to consumers is going to be key. If a brand showcases luxury-priced goods to someone looking for affordable options, they run the risk of pushing that potential shopper away due to poorly targeted content delivery. Based on our findings, it may be as simple as the wrong image featured on a homepage that results in lost revenue.”

This Christmas in Australia will also likely mark the first time that AI (Artificial Intelligence), influences consumer spending. Nearly 20% of Australians think family members should use AI for gift ideas, while 42% see some potential uses for themselves in festive season preparations.

Younger consumers (Generation Z 70%; Millennials 54%) are using AI during the festive season to help with tasks. However, AI has not yet become the preferred vehicle to buy gifts for friends, as only 6% said they would use AI to buy presents for people outside their family.

“Brands that offer AI solutions such as chat-based customer service or product search functions, or simple time-saving form-filling tools will be a step ahead of rivals this year,” added Grap. “Saving time while making experiences more engaging is critical this year based on the feedback from survey participants.”

Two out of three consumers say they combine online and in-person channels, with Amazon shoppers specifically noting the brand for fast delivery (40%). Amazon detractors, however, avoid the monolith due to a desire to support a brand directly (23%). In terms of buyer habits, browsing online is the most popular way of getting gift inspirations, followed by in-store browsing and friends and family recommendations.

Nearly half of those who use social media as a source of inspiration would buy directly from a social media post, and one in five shoppers said they have been influenced by a festive ad to change where they do their Christmas shopping. The survey said Gen Z (39%) and Millennials (35%) are the most likely to have been influenced by an ad.

The survey demographic was Gen Z (11%), Millennials (39%), Gen X (28%), and Baby Boomers (22%).

For more information about the Sitecore 2023 Australian Holiday report, visit this page.

About Sitecore's Australia Holiday Report
Sitecore commissioned Advanis to conduct a survey among Australian consumers reflecting on holiday shopping behaviours. The study polled 1,008 consumers in September 2023.

About Sitecore

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