31% of UK consumers say that shopping for presents that might get returned is their greatest annoyance when shopping for presents

London, UK, 2021 — With the festive season now fully underway, almost a third (31%) of UK shoppers say that buying presents that go unappreciated and get returned is their top bugbear during the holidays. That’s according to new research from Emarsys

The research of 2,000 UK consumers also shows that 30% say that they dislike the guesswork that goes into not knowing what people want. A further 23% dislike people pretending to like the gifts they’ve bought. This is despite the fact that two-thirds (66%) of UK shoppers enjoy Christmas shopping and the exact same amount believe they’re good at choosing presents. 

When looking for Christmas presents, 45% of Brits cite “lack of inspiration” as a reason for not enjoying the experience. Over a third (39%) believe that the cost is off-putting, especially if the item ends up getting returned anyway. One in five (20%) also say that a lack of personalised suggestions puts them off certain sites and stores. 

Commenting on the findings, Payal Hindocha, Director Customer Engagement Solutions GTM at Emarsys, said: “Shopping for Christmas presents should be an enjoyable experience. At the same time, everyone can relate to the frustration of not knowing what to get someone — or worse, guessing and getting it wrong, leading to presents being returned. 

“Luckily for retailers, there is a simple fix for this. Using data and AI insights to inspire shopping lists can help remove some of the uncertainty and guesswork from consumers’ Christmas shopping sprees. Currently however, less than a third of retailers take advantage of these technologies, despite widespread demand from shoppers for a more personalised experience.

“Unlike last year, where people were forced to go online to get their gifts, combined digital and in-person shopping means shoppers have a far wider selection of choice. As such, personalised suggestions based on unique insights can make a huge difference to finding the perfect present and reducing consumer frustrations or the need to return unwanted presents. This will not only improve the shopping experience for customers and those receiving the gifts, but ultimately bolster retailers’ bottom lines.”