Global Survey Reports People Plan to Spend More This Season

SHELTON, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013 –This year’s holiday shopping season is looking positive, at least in the minds of 4,406 participants who plan to exchange gifts. In a recent online global survey, 32 percent of respondents planned to spend more this year than in 2012. Conversely, 23 percent plan to spend less on gifts this year.

In 2011, SSI, a leading provider of global data collection services used by market research firms, corporate end-users and public opinion firms, saw the same attitude toward holiday spending plans where the majority of participants planned to spend “neither more nor less” than they spent the year before. However, when comparing participants in 2011 who planned to “spend more” or “spend less” to the same group in 2013, SSI found an increase among those who plan to “spend more” and a decrease among those who plan to “spend less.” Globally, 25 percent of respondents who took the survey in 2011 planned to “spend more” than the previous year, compared to 32 percent in 2013.

Among all nine of the countries interviewed (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States) those planning to exchange gifts were either as likely or more likely to “spend more” than the previous year. The countries that demonstrated significant increases were Australia, Canada, and the U.K. In the U.K., the percentage of people from the 2011 holiday survey who indicated they plan to spend more than the previous year increased by 13 percentage points (19 percent to 32 percent). China was the most optimistic country with 74 percent of participants planning to spend “somewhat” or “a lot” more on gifts compared to last year.

What is on Your Holiday Shopping List?

Globally, most people plan on buying clothes or toys for their gift exchange this holiday season. Similar to the results SSI found in 2011, books were the third most popular category. However, there were some differences across countries. Although, the top two U.S. planned gifts are clothing (61 percent) and toys (46 percent), the third favorite gift participants plan to purchase were video games (32 percent).

Furthermore, books were not as popular a choice in China, where the top three gifts on the holiday shopping list are clothing (58 percent), food (48 percent) and toys (23 percent). In Japan, the number one type of gift was food (47 percent), followed by toys (21 percent) and clothing (20 percent). Food is a popular gift in Japan to give for the “year-end present season.”

In addition to asking participants what they plan to buy, SSI asked them what they would like to receive as a holiday gift. The majority of respondents across the countries surveyed reported clothing (37 percent), books (25 percent) and perfume/cologne (22 percent). There were some differences across countries. In the U.S., participants favored clothing (44 percent), perfume/cologne (25 percent) and shoes (24 percent). Japanese participants indicated they wanted food (49 percent), alcohol (18 percent) and toys (18 percent). The top two categories for Chinese participants were clothing (49 percent) and food (34 percent). Tied for third most popular on the Chinese wish list were jewelry and shoes (31 percent).

Additional information on the SSI Holiday Season Survey can be obtained by emailing

SSI is the premier global provider of sampling, data collection and data analytic solutions for survey research, reaching respondents in 86 countries via Internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings. Additionally, SSI staff operates from 26 offices in 18 countries, offering CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI’s 3,100 employees serve more than 3,000 clients worldwide. For additional information, please visit

Jason Kannon
Kannon Public Relations
203.981.4230 (USA)