How much do consumers spend at Christmas?

In 2023, Brits spent an average of £1,800 over the Christmas period, despite the cost-of-living crisis.

And when searching for Christmas gifts, while supermarkets, discount stores, and department stores were all popular options, 78 per cent of consumers bought gifts from online stores, which is good news for e-commerce store owners like yourself.

In December, consumer spending tends to increase and for this reason, it is the biggest month of the year for many online retailers.

To boost sales and maximise profits during the festive season, it is important to know what products Christmas shoppers are searching for and what they plan to spend their money on.

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As more and more of us continue to feel the pinch of the cost of living crisis, consumers are looking to get more for less, and many will shop around for the best deals, and sellers who are able to offer them a service that goes above and beyond their competition.

Stocking the right products to meet the customer demand is essential to attract festive shoppers and ensure that you don’t miss out on sales due to bad inventory management.

To help you prepare your online store and inventory for Christmas, this blog will mention the categories that see the highest amount of consumer spending in December.

Food and drink

For many, food and drink at Christmas adds to the joy and celebratory mood and it comes as no surprise that households spend significantly more on groceries during December than any other month.

Last year, British households spent more than 12 billion pounds on food and drink over Christmas, the highest amount on record. To capitalise on this opportunity, stocking your online store with food-based items is the key.

Hampers, biscuits, cakes, hot chocolates, cheeses, sweets, and fudges are all popular holiday foods that not only are consumers likely to buy for themselves, but they are also likely to buy as gifts for others.


One of the biggest expenditures at Christmas is gifts for family and friends. For 2023, many consumers plan to reduce spending by trading down or trimming the number of presents they buy. For this reason, it is more important than ever before to ensure your e-commerce store stands out among competitors.

Researching current trends and analysing historical data is a great way of understanding what products and services consumers will be looking to purchase for their friends and relatives.

Accessories, books, cosmetics, and even store gift cards are among some of the most desired gifts at Christmas. Stocking the products that studies show Brits would most like to receive, gives your store a competitive edge.


This year, clothing and footwear are set to be the fastest growing category within the non-food related sector. This is despite seeing a strong increase in the last couple of years as consumers purchased new outfits to celebrate post-pandemic Christmases, parties and celebrations after years of restrictions and cancelled events.

This means savvy store owners should consider stocking festive clothing, Christmas merchandise and novelty items to generate sales this season.

Additionally, you may choose to start selling your seasonal clothing and stock earlier than usual to in a bid to take advantage of increased consumer spending on the run up to the big day.

A Christmas spruce up

Food and presents aren’t the only areas where consumers look to splash their cash over the festive season. Consumers are now more likely to spend significantly more on their Christmas spruce up. In the age of social media, many consumers enjoy proudly showing off their decked-out homes, packed with cheerful décor. Consider stocking classic favourites, like Christmas tree ornaments, bunting and lighting. It may even be the perfect time to stock cleaning products as people declutter their homes.

Why choose Unicorn Accounting?

The run up to Christmas is an exciting yet busy time for online retailers. Ensure you keep on top of your finances and tax obligations by outsourcing to an accountant.

This means that you don’t need to worry about your end of year accounts, payroll, or bookkeeping requirements.

Our gift to you this Christmas is giving you back precious time to spend building your brand and doing what it is you love.

At Unicorn Accounting we are e-commerce accountants who help make your online business a growing success. We offer e-commerce accounting advice, financial management, bookkeeping, cash flow statement, and tax filing services to support and scale your business.

Our team of accountants and Xero-certified advisors have experience working with both small start-ups and family-run online stores to large-scale, international retail and e-commerce brands.

If you’ve got an online store, we have the best solution for you. Providing you with a financial arm to your business through our sector experience, and skills with innovative technologies. To see how we can help you maximise the scalability of your e-commerce brand all year round, get in touch with Unicorn Accounting today.

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