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Brits to spend 3 times more online than French and Germans online this Christmas

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Holiday spending is to soar 25% across the UK, France and Germany, with the average UK shopper to spend more than three times as much as their continental counterparts, according to a new report.

Adobe today released its online shopping predictions for the 2018 holiday season (from November to December), which found that spending in the UK, France, and Germany will jump nearly 25% compared with the same period in 2017.

The findings, based on Adobe Analytics data, also reveals shoppers in the UK will spend more than three times as much as shoppers in France and Germany during this time, though budgets in these latter markets are significantly higher than last year and continue to grow.

Highlight findings include:

Holiday spending set to increase across major European markets:

  • The average UK consumer expects to spend £2046, a 5% jump on 2017 estimates.

  • French consumers have budgeted 730€ (£635) for holiday spending, a 19% increase from last year.

  • German consumers plan to spend 674€ (£587), the biggest increase at 46%.

Holiday gift-buying starts earlier each year:

  • Nearly 60% of UK consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in mid-November, as do half of consumers in France and Germany.

  • Much of this November spend will happen during major sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with price still acting as the main factor in peoples’ purchasing decisions. One quarter of UK consumers plan to do their shopping during Cyber weekend, and this percentage jumps to 48% in France.

Major online sales events reflect continued migration towards online and mobile shopping:

  • Nearly 50% of European consumers will do most of their holiday shopping online, even if more than 40% plan to check out products in store before making their purchase.

  • In the UK, over half of shopping budgets (56%) are expected to be spent online this year, with four fifths (80%) planning to spend the same or more online than they did in 2017.

Mobile shopping experiences are dated and not meeting consumer needs:

  • Consumers are increasingly using their mobiles to browse and compare products before making a purchase but feel today’s mobile shopping experiences do not meet their needs.

  • Two-thirds of European respondents believe mobile shopping has not improved since last year. This is the same sentiment Adobe recorded in 2017, suggesting brands have fallen behind and have more work to do in making their mobile shopping journey smoother and less stressful, with one in six UK consumers finding mobile shopping stressful.

  • Despite this, UK shoppers still find shopping in physical stores more stressful than online: one in five (19%) feel phased by stores, compared to just 6% for online stores overall.

Social media continues to gain influence in France and Germany, but is losing steam in the UK

  • 30% of European shoppers consult social media for inspiration before making a purchase.

  • France leads the way, with 39% saying they consult social channels before making a purchase. Germany comes in second, with 27% of shoppers saying they use social media for inspiration (up from 19% in 2017).

  • Social is still relevant in the UK but has been losing influence since 2016, with just 24% of consumers turning to social channels for inspiration before making a holiday purchase.

Jamie Brighton, Head of Product & Industry Marketing, Adobe EMEA said: “Online shopping continues to surge, and with consumers across Europe planning to spend more than ever over the holiday season retailers can expect yet another record-breaking year for sales, if they get things right. Never has it been more important to deliver a website and mobile experience that stands up to customer expectations and can handle this boost in demand. Even if price is still the deciding factor for many shoppers, the quality of experience they receive plays a major role as well, especially for brands that want to build loyalty and keep people coming back after the holiday rush.”


This is the fourth year Adobe has conducted its survey into holiday spend and purchasing habits. Using Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, we identified retail insights based on trillions of data points flowing through Adobe Analytics and Magento Commerce Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud.

Only Adobe’s analysis spans retailers across over 50 merchandise categories, powered by Magento Commerce Cloud, to provide the industry’s most accurate view of online shopping in Europe. Adobe Experience Cloud manages more than 200 trillion data transactions annually. Companion research is based on a survey of over 3,000 consumers in France, Germany, and the UK over the course of October 2018.


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