Brits start Christmas shopping early fearing supply chain & cross-border issues

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Brits are Christmas shopping early this year, as consumers brace themselves for a winter of delivery delays and border hold-ups, according to new research from Avalara, as they publish their Holiday Readiness Guide.

Just over half (51%) of British shoppers are planning to start their Christmas shopping early – actually pre-December – this year, with an incredible 19% of eager elves starting before November. The lure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales has captured shoppers’ attention this year, with 18% opting to start filling their baskets during the sales window compared to just 11% last year.

Those who have moved their holiday shopping window to earlier in the year cited concerns over delivery delays due to the supply chain crisis as their primary reason for the shift (34%), followed by worries over delays to cross-border delivered over Brexit customs issues (28%), and fears that a second wave of Covid lockdowns or restrictions could have an impact (26%).

Yet despite these concerns, Brits are unwilling to throw money at the problem to secure their deliveries. Over a third (38%) of consumers admitted that they had abandoned a delivery after finding out there was a customs fee to pay, half (50%) said they wouldn’t be prepared to spend anything on additional customs charges for goods, and only 1 in 5 would be willing to pay almost any customs excess in order to ensure Santa delivered their gifts on time for Christmas morning.

“Though this holiday season is set to be one of the busiest on record for many sellers, there’s a lot of nervousness about the external headwinds that might impact the festive season. From supply chain issues, to cross-border delivery days, and the fear of further Covid restrictions, retailers and shoppers need to plan ahead. For sellers, that means getting the essentials like your tax obligations in order early. As for shoppers, it’s worth making your wish list early to ensure Santa can deliver your goods in time for Christmas morning.”
– Alex Baulf, Senior Director, Global Indirect Tax, Avalara

As shopping across multiple channels expands, consumer expectations evolve, and new indirect tax regulations are passed, a retailer’s ability to maintain international tax compliance becomes more complicated. To help retailers and tax teams navigate these pressures, download Avalara’s Holiday Readiness Guide, designed to help businesses get their omnichannel indirect tax strategies in place so they can take advantage of the holiday shopping season boom.

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