New research: Hungarians plan to buy less gifts for the same number of people this Christmas

ift spending declines, intangible gifts get more important

Yettel conducted a nationwide representative survey to explore Hungarians’ Christmas gift-giving plans and their expectations for the holidays this year. The impact of the economic situation and the resulting tightened family budgets are clearly reflected in the plans for Christmas spending. Four out of ten Hungarians plan to spend less on gifts or on celebrating Christmas in general, and there are also some who plan to celebrate with fewer loved ones, mainly for financial reasons. Yettel’s recent research also shows that the majority are happier with intangible gifts, and with that comes an increase in the number of people giving experiences as a gift. Three out of four respondents have already received a gift they were unable to use. A personal, intangible gift can be a solution to resolve this issue.

The majority of Hungarians plan to buy gifts for roughly the same number of people this Christmas as last year, while one in five will buy gifts for fewer people. Most people are planning to buy gifts for their spouse and children, half of respondents are planning to surprise their parents, and only 18% of them are planning to buy or make gifts for friends, according to a nationwide representative survey by Yettel.[1] Among those who are not giving anyone a gift this year, the main reasons are a family agreement not to buy gifts, financial constraints or simply the desire not to focus on gifts at Christmas. Gift-giving is an essential part of Christmas only for 4 in 10 people.

The respondents plan to spend about the same amount on gifts on average as last year (HUF 60,000 and HUF 59,000), but considering the recent price hikes, this budget will probably be enough for less gifts this time. Many are preparing to tighten the purse strings even more: four out of ten people are planning to spend even less in nominal terms on gifts or Christmas in general.

Social relationships do not change

While most people have less time for face-to-face meetings in their everyday lives, this is the most important form of contact during major holidays. Most people are planning to spend Christmas with the same people as last year. Five out of ten will get together with their extended family and relatives, while four out of ten will celebrate with close family. Financial difficulties can also be clearly identified here, as those who plan to meet less people tend to give high costs as the reason.

Those they cannot meet in person are typically contacted by mobile phone (71%), and compared to last year, the popularity of chat apps has increased over that of both text messaging (48% vs 38%) and video calls (30% vs 26%).

Giving experiences is getting more important

The popularity of tangible gifts has gradually declined this year compared to previous years, but they are still the most popular. Toys (41%) top the list, followed by clothing (39%) and electronics (37%), but the number of respondents who plan to buy either of the latter two as gifts has fallen since last year. In the category of electronic products, most people would buy headphones/earphones (23%), smartwatches (14%), smartphones (12%) or phone cases (12%) for their loved ones. More and more people opt for experience as a gift (20%) – this segment saw the most significant, nearly twofold increase compared to 2021. In addition, one in five respondents make gifts themselves (20%) or give their loved ones surprises that cost no money (15%).

While the overall importance of online shopping continues to grow, the majority (47%) still prefer to buy their Christmas gifts in shops, while 38% plan to buy all or most of their gifts online. Respondents are scheduling their purchases for November or early December, but one in five people already started shopping before November.

The ideal gift

Yettel’s research shows that a third of respondents are stressful over whether they are choosing the right gift. This concern is not unfounded, as more than three out of four respondents have already received a gift they were not happy with or were unable to use. In such cases, the gift was most often kept regardless (65%), but in almost half of the cases they got rid of it (44%): it was re-gifted, given to someone in need or sold.

But what is the ideal gift like? Respondents are most likely to give a gift that is personal (72%), useful (60%) and reasonably priced (47%). When they receive a gift, however, the utility factor is more important (58%), but this is just slightly ahead of the personal factor (56%) and shared experience (36%).

In this year’s Christmas campaign, Yettel highlights the power of personal gestures with cards available in its shops and on the website, which inspire you to give the gift of shared experiences to your loved ones. In addition, the operator will give more of itself to Yettel Prime tariff customers as the tariff plans with unlimited domestic data are providing more handset services, extra offers and care for the customers including holiday handset offers with an upfront payment of HUF 0 or an annual discount of 10% on smart accessories. Yettel’s survey shows that the two most important considerations for those planning to buy a mobile phone as a gift together with a subscription are price and extra benefits offered by the tariff plan.

Christmas preparations and celebrations are also supported by a discount data card. Until 31 December, Yettel’s prepaid and postpaid consumers can activate a 7-day unlimited domestic data card at a discount price of HUF 1,990.

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[1] The survey was conducted between 28 October and 3 November 2022, on a sample of 1,000 people representative of Hungary’s Internet-using population aged 18-69 in terms of gender, age, type of settlement and region. (Impetus Research)