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PRESS RELEASE: Technology Moves in on Christmas Traditions

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  • 22% of Christmas diners expect to use a digital device during dinner
  • 27% of us plan to start sales shopping on Christmas day
  • One in two parents plan to make technology a significant part of Santa’s sack
  • One in ten will watch ‘The Queen’s Speech’ on a digital device
  • But new technology helps reinforce the Christmas tradition of keeping in touch

A first ever study of the role of digital devices on Christmas Day shows technology is moving in on some of our Christmas traditions.

1000 people in the UK, aged between 18 and 65, were asked what role digital devices will play on Christmas day, the sorts of gifts they will be buying and putting on their wish list, and how they will shop for them.

The survey by consumer research specialists, Intersperience, found that when it comes to one of the main events of the day, Christmas dinner, one in five of us intend to use a digital device during the meal.

“Whilst Christmas is about time spent with friends and family our findings show that many of us will also want to spend time with our digital devices. We will either be watching, or catching up with, the latest soap or ‘The Queen’s Speech’, taking pictures or texting Christmas wishes. 13% of respondents said they would use a smartphone, laptop or tablet to connect to the Internet during the meal to carry out these activities” said Intersperience’s CEO Paul Hudson.

The survey also revealed that during Christmas Day 75% of us intend to use the internet at somepoint. Of those planning to do so, 25% of us use a laptop, tablet or smartphone to watch TV and 1 in 10 said they would follow the Queen’s speech on these devices.

But by far the most popular use of the internet on Christmas day is social networking. With 61% of us intending to access these sites on Christmas day, to send Xmas greetings, the tradition of keeping in touch looks set to be an important part of the day.

An important statistic for retailers is that over a quarter of us are planning on shopping on Christmas Day leading Hudson to comment that:

“Whilst this is one of only two days of the year shops aren’t allowed to open, it seems that our insatiable appetite for a bargain won’t let us rest. The internet has provided a route for us to start sales shopping earlier. This shows, more than ever, how important it is for retailers to have a good presence online.”

The survey also found that almost 1 in 10 parents plan to buy their under 18’s a tablet computer whilst almost 3 in 10 adults are hoping to receive one for Christmas.

In terms of the contents of Santa’s sack, there’s a split between parents who intend to put gifts of clothes, books and toysabove digital purchases and those who won’t. 47% of us expect to purchase technology presents for our children this year.

“We are seeing digital devices making quite an impact on the traditions of Christmas day. We can expect their appearance at Christmas dinner, as part of Santa’s sack and we’ll certainly be using them to send each other Xmas wishes as well as starting our sales shopping” added Intersperience’s Paul Hudson.

However one 170 year old Christmas tradition, the sending of a card or letter, continues to stand the test of time in this new digital age. It is still the most popular way of wishing someone 'Happy Christmas'. 64% of those surveyed said they would be posting their greetings this year.


For more information please contact Paul Hudson or Pam Taylor on 015395 65450.

Notes to editors

Devices: The term devices includes: smartphones, mobile phone, laptops, tablets, personal computers, satellite or cable TV, games console, internet radio, e-reader, connected TV. The biggest increase of all device use is the tablet computer. Four times more respondents indicated that they use the tablet computer compared to a survey in 2011. The increase in the use of the smartphone continues with uptake almost doubling (although slower than that of tablet computers).

About Intersperience: Intersperience is an international consumer research specialist with expertise in consumer behaviour, experience and attitudes. The team, which is headquartered in the UK, has more than 25 years experience in analysing consumer behaviour. It employs a range of interpretative models and frameworks including a proprietary online research platform. Intersperience has significant global expertise and an international research hub at Lancaster University which conducts research in more than 60 languages as well as associates in major global markets. Intersperience is an expert in how technology impacts on consumer behaviour and multi-channel customer service strategy. Clients include: ITV, The British Council; General Motors; Iceland; Samsung; ScottishPower and William Hill.

For more information: E: T: + 44 (0) 15395 65450

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