We’re all different when it comes to Christmas shopping techniques and tactics but what kind of Christmas shopper are you? An adrenalin infused last minute dasher or a supremely organised, somewhat smug ‘done it all by November’ specialist? Do you do it all with thumbs and smartphone on Black Friday or are you still old school trawling shops and department stores laden with bags? Whatever Christmas shopper you are, be aware of those looming Christmas delivery deadlines for sending all those lovely gifts on to friends and family.
The Early Birdie
This shopper has planned, purchased and wrapped every item well before Christmas. In fact, if this is you then no doubt you’re reading this rather smugly as you eye the perfectly wrapped pile of presents in the wardrobe. The Early Birdie buys throughout the year, hunting for bargains in the summer sales, the flash sales and even the post-Christmas sales from the year before. For this shopper, the run-up to the big day is a stress-free and relaxed event – at least where the presents are concerned. Just the Christmas dinner to worry about…
The Last Minute Rusher
This black sheep of the Christmas shopping fraternity and the polar opposite of the Early Birdie. If you can’t buy it at 3pm on Christmas Eve then it’s not a real Christmas present, right? That’s the attitude of the Last Minute Rusher who, although maybe not so extreme as to leave everything to the night before Christmas, is certainly still shopping the week before Christmas Day. In the old pre-Amazon, pre-Cyber Monday days, Christmas Eve was the festive shoppers little secret – all the shops open but hardly anyone shopping. The Last Minute Rusher had the run of the stores with not a queue in sight.
The Tech Shopper
The habits of the Techy Shopper are formed from an obsession with online bargains and, as a result, all present purchasing tends to take place around Black Friday/Cyber Monday when online prices are at their lowest. This means a few days of research into potential bargains and then a day of hard buying using all devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), jumping from retailer to retailer to get the very best online prices. This shopper works smart, not hard. Clear the decks for the day, start early, stay focused and buy, buy, buy!
The One Stop Shopper
Closely related it’s cousin the Techy Shopper, whether out of devotion to a particular retailer, or a determination to save precious time, the One Stop Shopper will pick one online store and do the whole of Christmas in a single payment. eBay and Amazon tend to be favourites here, for everything from perfume for mum, golf clubs for dad and a onesie for little brother. Efficient and inventive, this shopper certainly gets the job done, and can sit back relatively relaxed waiting for hopefully a single parcel delivery to stay in for.
The Bargain Hunter
From car boot sales through to online auction sites, this shopper has already sifted through the trash and found bargains galore long before the summer has faded. This kind of shopping can only be achieved by some serious forward planning and a very definite idea of what you want to buy. Less Mr Scrooge and more budget-driven inventiveness and dedication. And all that boot sale-ing usually results in some interesting gifts. If you are not throwing money at Christmas, its time to be original!
The Department Store Junkie
Also known as the ‘Offline Shopper’ this is someone who really makes a day of it and goes to town. All gifts will be purchased from a single ‘real world’ department store, with numerous breaks scheduled for in-store pit stops – brunch through to dinner with suitable breaks for glasses of bubbles or a stiff drink. Department Store Junkies usually travel in pairs, are ruthlessly determined and will not leave till Christmas is covered. Selfridges is a perfect purchasing and pampering palace for this shopper (who might very well throw in a spa treatment along the way).
The I’m Not Shopping Shopper
This shopper has guts, and hopefully some decent craft and artisan skills. Someone who doesn’t embrace the fevered frenzy of stores or online sales, this shopper presents friends and family with home-made offerings every year. Success tends to depend on knitting, candle making or sewing abilities but thanks to the wealth of great online ideas online for crafty gifts, all this ‘shopper’ really needs is time, love, and nimble fingers. Home-made bath salts, personalised T-shirts or gourmet treats in a little hamper, what’s wrong with a little DIY?
The All About Me Shopper
Last, and in the spirit of Christmas, definitely least, we have the shopper who can’t see beyond themselves. Whether on or offline, this egocentric shopper is ostensibly browsing for friends and family but without fail, manages to have bought a whole bunch of stuff for themselves! This can be a risky and expensive way to do Christmas and often results in panic giving of gifts that were purchased for the shopper themselves. Hi Nan, did you like your Ed Sheeran calendar? Why is Auntie Joan not playing with her PlayStation 4? Or worse, in a moment of present panic, everyone gets an Amazon voucher bought ten minutes ago. Guilty?
Which one of these characters are you? Do you have any great ideas for navigating Christmas? What’s the best present you have ever been given, and the worst? Let us know!