JWT London predicts technology will help celebrate Christmas in the UK

Sure, the holidays may be about unplugging and spending some quality time with friends and family, but according to JWT London, the key to a happy Christmas is: technology!

According to its December 2011 poll, technology will play an “instrumental” role in helping Britons celebrate Christmas by helping them shop, keep in touch with loved ones, and of course goof off with games and entertainment.

Check out all the stats below — only after you send out your greeting cards via Facebook. 

The survey was conducted by JWT’s Business Intelligence department, which tracks trends and insights into the British consumer.

LONDON, 14 December 2011—Technology will play an instrumental role in helping the UK celebrate Christmas this year. A recent survey by advertising agency JWT London shows that Britons of all ages will be using their gadgets and devices for shopping, entertainment and keeping in touch with loved ones over the Christmas period.

We’ll be better connected than ever before this festive season with 22% of us sending greetings via Facebook and 11% instantly uploading photos and clips of the big day to social networks; 14% will send an e-card rather than a traditional Christmas card and 7% plan to tweet Christmas greetings.  The over 55s claim to be the keenest Tweeters (9%) and are also more likely to be found Skyping their relatives than the average (15% v 14%).

And if you’re wondering where the younger members of the family have disappeared to after Christmas lunch, they might just be blogging (8% of 18-34s plan to write a Christmas post) or perhaps hanging out in a chatroom; 6% have already decided they will get bored of your company and will be catching up with their online pals instead.

Online retailers can certainly look forward to a boost in sales, with a massive 59% of adults and even 55% of the 55 and over age group planning to purchase gifts online, demonstrating that Britons of all ages are increasingly reliant on the convenience of e-commerce.

15% of us (equivalent to 7 million individuals) also plan to order their Christmas groceries online rather than face the annual supermarket aisle bun fight for the last box of mince pies.   And more than one in ten will deploy a laptop or tablet in the kitchen for following recipes from the likes of Jamie and Nigella, rather than relying on a traditional cookbook.

Despite our increasing devotion to all things wired, we still value the analogue aspects of the season. 60% of us believe that it’s important to retain Christmas traditions, a figure which rises to a whopping 89% among the 35-54 age group who are more likely to be in the family life stage.

We asked our panel which traditions are most important to them and our survey revealed that it’s the shared experiences which we treasure. Sitting down with all the family for Christmas dinner is our most cherished tradition, chosen by 51%, followed by exchanging our presents (39%); 37% love the excitement of decorating the tree and 25% enjoy swapping cards with friends and family.

Marie Stafford, Director of Insight at JWT London, commented:

“We’re embracing new technology and social media like never before, but what strikes me is that it’s not replacing our Christmas traditions but enhancing them or just establishing new ones.  In five years, no doubt, the Christmas Skype will be as much a part of the holiday as the tree. What’s certain though is that even if we’re 3D printing our turkey or sporting a web-enabled Christmas jumper, the main focus of Christmas will always be about connecting and spending time with the ones who mean the most to us.”

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