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Younger Consumers Lead Online Holiday Shopping in Finland

Parents of pre-school-age children were most likely to say they’d buy gifts on the internet

Most of Finland’s consumers won’t be changing their Christmas spending much this year, according to the Finnish Commerce Federation. Its telephone survey of more than 1,500 consumers ages 15 and older, carried out by TNS Gallup Finland, found that 68% thought their holiday budget would stay the same as in 2012.

Thirteen percent of those polled said they did plan to spend more this year, but that was counterbalanced by the 19% who expected to spend less—another indication that the Finnish economy hasn’t fully bounced back from the effects of European financial troubles.

TNS Gallup noted some interesting age-related intentions among female respondents. A sizeable proportion (21%) of women under 40 said their Christmas purchasing would go up this year, while 23% of women over 40 planned to tighten their spending.

In Finland, unlike Sweden, the UK and some other regional markets, the internet isn’t a major destination for many shoppers. According to the TNS Gallup survey, just 26% of consumers 15 and older planned to buy Christmas gifts online this year.

But the likelihood of shopping on the web also varied substantially with age. Younger people planned to purchase significantly more online than respondents ages 50 and older. The shoppers most likely to say they would use online retailers were parents of children under school age. About half of this group said they intended to buy Christmas gifts online.

The hesitation of older purchasers will do little to dent the steady rise of ecommerce in Finland. eMarketer estimates that total business-to-consumer sales will approach $4.4 million in 2013—a gain of nearly 15% in one year. Another double-digit rise is predicted for 2014.

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