Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:03

Paypal: Aussies spend more time planning than enjoying Christmas Day

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Getting prepared for any event takes time, but new research shows we spend five times more hours planning for Christmas Day than enjoying it!

As a payments company that promotes online payments, it should come as no surprise that Paypal is urging Australians to get their shopping sorted ‘on-the-go’ by going mobile this Christmas.

By using their mobiles more productively and using moments of so-called ’nothing time’ to get Xmas shopping sorted, we might actually start spending more time enjoying Christmas Day with family and friends than we do in preparation for it.

That said, given the chaos around preparing for all aspects of Christmas, this might be a forlorn hope. Even so, any time saved is a handy thing you could spend on all the other preparations you need to do, so it would be a bonus.

Paypal’s research, of which we have a stack of stats at the end of this article, indicates that we ‘expect to spend on average 24 hours researching and buying gifts, with one in five looking to buy more than 20 presents this Christmas.’

This means that, in total, ‘Aussies expect to spend around 46 hours getting ready for Christmas – a whopping five times more hours than is actually spent celebrating the day (8 hours on average).’

However, as noted above, PayPal research shows that ‘Australians could be using their time more productively in the lead up to Christmas by leveraging their smartphone.’

Adrian Christie, Paypal Australia’s long-time spokesperson and presumed organiser of his own prolifically Paypal-aided ’Christie-mas Parties’ said: “There are a number of traditions Australians look forward to celebrating each Christmas, from decorating the house to reuniting with their extended family. But getting to the stage can at times be tiresome when it doesn’t have to be.”

“The smartphone has enabled Australians to access a 24 hour shopping centre in the palm of their hand. Today, you can order your Christmas turkey, buy your decorations and have all your Christmas presents delivered to your doorstep – all with a few easy clicks during those “nothing times” when you’re waiting for your bus or sitting idly on the train.”

“Instead, almost three quarters of Aussies are choosing the check and update Facebook during these idle moments, when we have the opportunity to use this “nothing time” productively and get to Christmas Day with less stress and more celebration,” he said. 

Even without Paypal’s exhortations to get our festive organising sorted more efficiently (and while using Paypal’s services), the international payments processor noted that ‘some Australians are recognising the opportunity to use their smartphone to get their Christmas sorted.’

It turns out that, ‘while only 35 per cent of Aussie smartphone users say they have browsed shopping sites and apps in their idle moments, more Australians say they will use their phone this year to shop online.’

In fact, says Paypal, ‘one in five (21%) intend to use their smartphone more this year to search for and buy Christmas presents. Among them is working mum of three, Chrissie Swan.’

Swan says that, “Without a doubt the greatest thing about my smartphone is flexibility and convenience. If you can update your status on the bus or share the photo of the burger you’re having for lunch, why can’t you order that new toy or video game instead?”

“Like most mums (and dads) I have spent many Christmas Eves rushing around looking for last-minute gifts and I think wasting time on Facebook and Instagram has a lot to do with this. But with services like PayPal, you can literally shop anywhere with peace of mind. Instead of trawling your news feed, Aussies have the opportunity to get Christmas sorted sooner, with just a few easy clicks on their smartphone.”
 
And even though people are supposed to have these oft-broken rules about not using phones when eating in the company of friends, the research shows that the ‘most popular times for Aussies to use a smartphone to shop online is when eating (28%); on the toilet (19%) and commuting to work (17%).’

Paypal’s Adrian Christie concluded: “Christmas is a magical time of year and the smartphone has afforded us the flexibility to alleviate unnecessary stress, giving us back some valuable time that could be spent with loved ones.”

“PayPal’s 5.5 million active Australian account holders are already using their smartphones to get their Christmas sorted early and we’re calling for all Australians to remove the stress from Christmas and use their smartphones productively during the festive season.”

So, what are some more of the key findings from the research? Paypal produced a fact sheet, so we’ve included some more of that detail below:

- Women (average 54 hours) and Baby Boomers (average 51 hours) invest the most time preparing for Christmas.

- The most time consuming activities are buying gifts (14 hours on average) and preparing for Christmas day with activities including cleaning the house, putting up decorations, wrapping presents and preparing food (13 hours on average).

- Time is also spent researching what to buy family and friends (10 hours on average), travelling to be with family and friends for Christmas day (6 hours on average) and queuing for Christmas related activities in stores (4 hours on average).

- The average Australian buys 11 presents for family and friends at Christmas, however, one in five expect to buy more than 20 Christmas presents each year.

- Only 3% of Australians do not purchase any Christmas presents. - Women (average 12 gifts) and those with children (average 13 gifts) are the most prolific gift buyers.

- While smartphones are providing us with efficiencies, most users are whiling away their moments of spare time consumed with social media rather than using it as a time-saving tool.

- The most common activity smartphone users are engaging in while browsing online is checking in and updating Facebook (71%). Almost half (49%) of smartphone users engage in playing games in their spare time.

- Those aged 18-24 years are the most likely to pass the time on their smartphone using Facebook (85%), Instagram (50%) or watching YouTube (40%).

- Just 35% have browsed shopping sites and applications in their downtime. Smartphones playing an increasing role in Christmas shopping in 2014

- One in five (21%) intend to use their smartphone more this year to search for and buy Christmas gifts.

- The most popular times to use a smartphone to shop online are when eating (28%), on the toilet (19%) or commuting to work (17%).

- Men (25%) are much more likely to be using their smartphone to shop online while sitting on the toilet than women (14%).


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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