A record number of shoppers are expected to head online this year to do their Christmas shopping, a new nationwide survey commissioned by Australia Post reveals.

The Australia Post research highlights 87 per cent of people will be turning to online shopping to buy one or more of their presents this year, compared to only 52 per cent last year.

The biggest catalysts driving people online are, shopping online at a time that suits them (63 per cent), having gifts delivered to your door (53 per cent), avoiding busy car parks and big crowds (52 per cent) and easily comparing prices at the touch of a button (50 per cent). 

Christine Corbett, Executive General Manager, Postal and eCommerce Services at Australia Post, said: "Christmas is our favourite time of year at Australia Post. We know our customers love online shopping, where they can shop at a time that suits them, from the comfort of their own home.

"They also want peace of mind that their payment information is secure so prepaid cards such as the Load&Go Reloadable Visa card are often favoured over credit cards and have the added benefit of helping control spending.

"We want to help make Christmas simpler so we're gearing up our services with extended Post Office opening hours and weekend parcel deliveries. To keep your gifts a secret and avoid a Santa spoiler, have them delivered to one of over 240 of our free 24/7 Parcel Locker locations or directly to a parcel collect point near work or home."

Not surprisingly, men and baby boomers felt less motivated about Christmas shopping compared to other groups, with 72 per cent of males and 72 per cent of those aged 55-64 more likely to leave gift shopping to the last minute during the festive season. 

Australia Post expects that Christmas 2015 will be one of the busiest years for parcel deliveries, anticipating a record 1.3 million parcels a day powered by online shopping.  

The survey also revealed:

Partners (26 per cent) were nominated as the most difficult person to buy a gift for followed by parents, with a fifth (20 per cent) claiming they get stuck when it comes to purchasing a present for mum or dad

On average each consumer buys about 10 Christmas presents and spends about $364 in total

Half of the people surveyed indicated they spend a whole weekend or longer completing their Christmas shopping

Australia Post Top Online Gift Buying Tips:

Create an online shopping list and stick to it

Manage your budget by using a prepaid Load&Go Reloadable Visa card to avoid getting caught up in the moment

Shop early – don't leave gift buying until the last minute. When shopping online, check the shipping options and ensure you allow enough time for your parcels to arrive

Keep your gifts a surprise this Christmas by disguising your online gift shopping with specially-designed Disguise Packaging. For more information, check out http://surprise.auspost.com.au/disguisepackaging/

You can also keep your gifts a secret by having your parcels delivered to a parcel collect location at a Post Office or Parcel Locker

Take advantage of online shopping sales in the lead up to the holiday season

Sign up to retail e-newsletters and keep an eye out for sales and free shipping dates leading up to Christmas

Search online shopping blogs and Instagram pages – they've often got their finger on the pulse for great gift ideas and Christmas sales

Shop online safely by ensuring any purchases are made via an SSL (secure sockets layer) enabled site

Note to editor: The nationwide survey of 1,000 Australians commissioned by Australia Post in November 2015 was conducted through Pure Profile: http://www.pureprofile.com/au