Study shows: online stores increasingly accessed in the weeks leading to Christmas


The busier consumers are in their everyday life, the more they plan to use online stores to buy Christmas presents. Men are more likely to plan to make Christmas-related purchases online than women. Young people are especially interested in e-commerce.

Posti's study examined how many consumers plan to buy Christmas presents online and what the attitude of consumers is regarding buying Christmas presents online. The results showed that buying Christmas presents online is strongly increasing as using the Internet in Christmas preparations is a known way of reducing one's holiday stress. In addition, Christmas presents can be ordered long before Christmas if online stores offer good discounts. Of special e-commerce Christmas services, consumers are particularly interested in a gift-wrapping service.

The lack of Christmas spirit and the use of an online store resulting in uncertainty concerning the product, exchanging or returning it, and whether the shipment arrives on time are seen as key obstacles in buying Christmas presents online.

Buying from online stores is strongly related to the age of the respondent. The younger the respondent, the more likely they will purchase goods from online stores. Younger respondents are also clearly more accustomed to utilize the seasonal offers and Christmas campaigns of online stores and do not find the possible exchange or return of a product bought from an online store as difficult as older respondents.

- In my opinion, this clearly demonstrates that younger respondents have grown up in a world of e-commerce, says Jaakko Kaidesoja, Development Director of Posti's online shop.

According to Kaidesoja, online stores face a challenge in making the Christmas spirit more prominent in their commerce. Another challenge is the communicating of seasonal offers and campaigns to customers.

Online stores also act as a tool for window shopping, advertisement and product catalogues delivered by mail as a source of inspiration

About 60% of respondents draw Christmas present inspiration from window shopping or browsing online stores or advertisement and product catalogues delivered by mail. When using an online store, respondents found it extremely important to be informed in advance of the exact date when the ordered goods can still be delivered in time for Christmas. Tracking the shipments is also seen as an important feature. In contrast, respondents usually do not visit shops and boutiques to see the products before ordering them online. Of the respondents who had received parcels at a Parcel Point, 77% evaluated the Parcel Points as a handy tool.

- Users are particularly pleased about the easy use, long opening hours, and queue-free nature of the Parcel Points, says Saara Pietilä, Posti's Manager in charge of Parcel Points.

General online shopping

Compared with the 80% who buy from online stores, 14% of the respondents avoid online purchases whenever possible. About 6% completely refuse to use e-commerce. The share of those who would not buy presents online under any circumstances has dropped by 10 percentage points from last year.

Men are slightly more active online buyers than women. Those aged 35-44 are most likely to only buy from Finnish online stores. Foreign online stores are most popular among young respondent groups (aged 15-34). Active online buyers buy Christmas presents from both Finnish and foreign online stores. Compared to previous years, consumers are now more prepared to also buy from foreign online stores.

The study results are in line with the preliminary e-commerce study by FinPro which will entail the launch of an e-commerce growth programme. It aims to increase the competitiveness of Finnish online stores and international growth .

The study was conducted by TNS Gallup Oy. The survey was carried out using Gallup Kanava from 9 to 14 October 2015, reaching 1,002 consumers representing Finns aged 15 or older.