By Marcus Leach

With Christmas nearly upon us, consumers are making the last of their purchases and getting in the festive spirit. Shoppers continue to feel pressure on their disposable incomes and as a result are making more considered purchases.

Verdict Research is currently running a five wave survey on Christmas spending carried out online with a representative sample size of 2,000 UK consumers per wave. The following data are based on results from the fourth wave which went to field 12th — 18th December 2011.

"Though 6 out of 10 consumers expect to spend more this year, price is still the key consideration when buying gifts, with 64.8% of respondents mentioning it," Verdict analyst, Carly Syme, explained.

"With squeezed disposable incomes, consumers want to ensure they are getting as much as they can for their money and with such a focus on price through big discounts and promotions offered by retailers, it is not surprising it has come out as the top factor. Wide choice comes in second with 42.9% mentioning it.

"Data from our survey shows the majority of consumers (73.0%) will finance their spending through their regular salary — trying to avoid racking up debt over the festive period. While 18.3% of consumers have said they will put some spending on a credit card, this is down from 21.1% last year — highlighting that shoppers are being careful not to overstretch themselves."

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