Cost of living crisis shapes 2023 gift buying plans

Third of UK consumers polled plan to spend less on gifts in 2023

Third of UK consumers polled plan to spend less on gifts in 2023

A third of UK consumers plan to spend less on gifts in 2023 – with the most common choice of product chosen being something that brings practical help to the recipient.

With the cost of living crisis set to see two-thirds of consumers reducing their discretionary spend in 2023, KPMG asked 3000 UK consumers about their gift buying intentions for the coming twelve months.

A third (32%) of respondents said they will spend less of gifts in 2023, whilst 36% said they would continue at 2022 levels.  Only 9% of people said they will spend more on gifts this year when compared to last.

  • Nearly half (48%) of all consumers buying gifts in 2023 plan to buy more practical gifts to help the recipient – such as homeware, or clothing.
  • A third of consumers (33%) plan to treat the recipient to an experience – such as a meal out, or theatre tickets.
  • A quarter plan to gift cash this year.

One in ten consumers said they will be using their savings more to buy gifts this year, whilst a further one in ten (13%) said they will be using credit more in order to buy gifts.

Reflecting on the findings:

Linda Ellett, UK Head of Consumer Markets, Retail and Leisure, KPMG, said:

“Whilst the cost of living crisis is forcing a scaling back of spending on gifts in 2023 for a third of consumers, it is also shaping the types of presents that people plan to buy. 

“As consumers search for quality gifts that bring practical help to the recipient or give them a treat experience that brings a break from the stresses of day to day life, retailers and brands need to understand these purchasing priorities - bringing home via their marketing and customer service how their product or service brings benefit or relief within this climate.”

KPMG’s December consumer research found that 61% of consumers plan to reduce their non-essential spending in 2023.  Essential costs (food, energy, fuel, mortgage or rent) already being too high, and a concern about how high they still may yet go, were the two most common deterrents to being able to spend more on non-essential goods and services. 

One in ten consumers highlighted concern about energy bills after April, whilst consumers also cited fixed-term mortgage deals coming to an end, and variable mortgage rates rising, as their barriers to spending.  Of all the consumers with savings, 43% say they are using them to help meet their essential costs.

Click here for further KPMG research about consumer spending intention in 2023.


Notes to Editors:

Research conducted with 3000 consumers, on behalf of KPMG UK by One Poll, in December 2022.

In 2023, when purchasing gifts for others, will you spend more or less than 2022? (Select all that apply).  Sample: 3000.

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Spend more than in 2022:                          9%.

Spend around the same as in 2022:         36%

Spend less than in 2022:                            32%

Stop buying gifts altogether:                     5%

Not sure:                                                       15%

N/A – I don’t ever buy gifts:                       4%


Thinking of how you plan to buy gifts in 2023, which of the following apply to you?  Sample: 2875.

Buy more practical gifts that help the recipient (homeware, clothing, for example):           48%

Buy more experience based gifts (meals out, theatre tickets, for example):                          33%

Gift cash:                                                                                                                                           25%

Use credit more in order to buy gifts:                                                                                           13%

Use savings more in order to buy gifts:                                                                                        10%

None of the above:                                                                                                                          21%

Media contact:


Steven Reilly-Hii, Media Relations Manager, KPMG UK, or 07510 376635.

About KPMG:

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 20 offices across the UK with approximately 15,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.43 billion in the year ended 30 September 2021.

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Legal, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 145 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.