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Aussies no longer last-minute Christmas shoppers

  • Written by Suka Junin

Last-minute Christmas shopping a thing of the past, with just 30% Aussies leaving their shopping to this month


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


The findings come from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1021 Australians[1] 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. Forty-one (41) per cent began purchasing their gifts before November. Seventy-two (72) per cent began their gift shopping before December.


When respondents were asked about their gift shopping this year, 92 per cent indicated they would begin at least three weeks out from Christmas. Eighty (80) per cent had already started their shopping before December. Surprisingly, only three (3) per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent of respondents). In fact, the most common reason was not knowing what to buy – chosen by 30 per cent of respondents. A further 19 per cent said they were too busy with work commitments and life. The findings also reveal that one in three (30 per cent) Aussies claim they feel they never leave their gift shopping a little late.


Jessica Ip, spokesperson at CP, says: “It’s interesting to see the changing Christmas shopping habits of Aussies, in that they’re starting earlier than the industry would generally expect. We think this change has come about due to the increase in online shopping and retailers participating in global shopping events such as Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Aussies are likely purchasing their gifts online around this time to take advantage of shopping deals and save money for Christmas. It’s also a great way to mitigate last-minute purchases and allow time for deliveries and online returns or exchanges.


“Many retailers are helping shoppers get organised by providing Christmas cut-off dates for online gift orders to ensure parcels arrive in time for Christmas. This is the busiest time of year for parcel delivery companies.


“For those who are making last-minute purchases, particularly online, we encourage them to take advantage of flexible delivery choices. CP offers a network of more than 3,500 POPStation parcel lockers and 1,000 POPShop retail outlets around the country. This enables customers and businesses to collect or send items securely outside of normal business hours, at a time that’s convenient to them. We also offer the option to provide authority to leave or nominate a neighbour in case the receiver isn’t home to sign for a parcel.”


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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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. With CP, you can nominate a neighbour up to three houses away to receive an item on your behalf, reschedule a delivery if you won’t be home, redirect to an alternative address, and provide authority to leave the parcel in a safe location at your address.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


When Aussies start their Christmas shopping and the reasons behind leaving it a little late


Timeline of when respondents started their gift shopping this year, compared with 2017


% of respondents who started gift shopping this time last year

% of respondents who started, or

will start, their gift shopping this year

Before June















1st half of November



2nd half of November



1st week of December



2nd week of December



3rd week of December



Christmas Eve



Boxing Day




Reasons for leaving gift shopping a little late

% of respondents

I never leave my gift shopping until the last minute


I didn’t know what gifts to buy


I was too busy at work or with life


I wasn’t properly organised


I wanted to wait for last-minute Christmas specials


I didn’t have the money to buy the gifts early


I hadn’t decided who I would exactly give gifts to


I hadn’t worked out my budget


I wanted to wait for new products or styles



About CouriersPlease

CouriersPlease (CP) is a leading courier and freight service that delivered nearly 18 million parcels in 2017 alone. CP offers a network of POPStation (Pick/Post your Own Parcel) parcel lockers comprising more than 3500 lockers in 45 locations and more than 1000 POPShop retail outlets to enable consumers and businesses to pick up or post their parcels more securely and out of hours. Owned by Singapore Post (SingPost), a leader in eCommerce logistics in the Asia Pacific and USA, CP’s international and domestic air services connect customers to over 220 countries. Visit couriersplease.com.au.


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