South Africans Ready to Spend this Festive Season – eBucks Survey

The results of the eBucks 2012 Festive Survey are in, and they reveal that South Africans are not going to be stopped from spoiling their loved ones this festive season – despite challenging economic conditions.

Fifty four percent of the survey’s respondents said they were planning to spend up to R500 per gift, 29% were prepared to generously spend between R500 and R1000 per gift, and a not-so-insignificant 17% said they intended splashing out a whopping R1000 or more per gift.

The festive survey was conducted online during October 2012 by eBucks – the FNB and RMB Private Bank rewards programme – and aimed to get the low-down on South Africans’ festive shopping plans, including who they were shopping for, how and when they planned to carry out their shopping and how much they planned on spending per gift.

“It’s no surprise that a substantial 95% of respondents said that the festive season is their favourite time of year to show their loved ones how they feel by giving a special gift or two – or even three,” says Jolandé Duvenage, eBucks CEO. “We know that South Africans work hard all year round and that the summer holidays and festive season are the perfect time to share the fruits of the year’s labour with family and friends.”

When asked how many people they were going to buy presents for, 43% said between one and five, with the same percentage saying between five and 10, and 12% saying that they were buying presents for 10 or more loved ones.

“With the challenging economic conditions, we expect South Africans will manage their festive budget carefully by purchasing a number of smaller, more meaningful gifts for extended family and friends, and then splashing out on one more expensive item for their spouse or significant other,” says Duvenage.

The survey results highlighted that when it comes to gifts for the ‘significant other’ that men were planning to outspend the fairer sex. The most popular amount, at 26%, for women to spend on that all important gift was in the R250- R500 budget range, compared to the finding that 31% of men said they were planning to spend R1000 or more on their ‘better-half’.

Interestingly, a startling 8% of women said they wouldn’t even buy their partners a present at all!

The survey also found that the overwhelming majority of parents will be treating their children this year, with 41% planning on spending up to R500 per child, and the same percentage planning on spending between R500 and R1000 per child. Thirteen percent of parents surveyed plan to spend between R1000 – R3000, while a small percentage (3%) are planning on going big and spending over R3000 per child.

“The festive season is something that most children anticipate with great excitement, and it seems that their dreams of Santa and gleaming gifts beneath the tree are not going to go unfulfilled in 2012,” says Duvenage.

When it came to finding out what was on everyone’s gift wish list, the survey revealed that on top of this list for the second year running were gadgets, with just under half of respondents (45%) saying this would be their ultimate gift to receive.

The next most popular gift on the festive season wish list was cash or vouchers at a distant 13%. Other wish list items were fitness or sporting equipment (7%), jewellery (6%), clothing (6%), and perfume/aftershave (6%).

“For most South Africans a gadget is something that they would like to have, rather than something they really need and have to budget for, so unwrapping a gadget on Christmas Day is always a big favourite,” says Duvenage.

Careful planning ahead also seems to be increasingly popular, with 39% of respondents saying that they had already completed their Christmas shopping in November. Just over half of those surveyed (52%) plan to do their shopping in the three weeks leading up to the holiday, with a very small minority – 5% – sheepishly admitting to doing their gift shopping either on Christmas Eve or even on Christmas Day.

The eBucks Festive Survey also asked respondents where they preferred to do their festive shopping. Nearly 52% of respondents said that they intend to buy gifts from a combination of ‘physical’ and online shops. Forty percent of respondents like to touch, see and experience their purchases in traditional shops only, and 8% of respondents said that they are opting for the timesaving convenience of shopping online, where festive season crowds, queues and exhaustion are simply not a part of the equation.

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