Australians are putting gift cards, technology and home-based hobby equipment at the top of their Christmas wish lists this year, according to new research from global data and insights company, Pureprofile.

With digital connectedness becoming more important, technology was the only gift category to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 23% looking forward to a tech-based present this year (up from 19% in 2020).

Most Australians also want a degree of choice when it comes to their Christmas presents, with two out of five hoping to receive a gift card this year. This marks a return to pre-pandemic levels of demand for gift cards (44% in 2019).

Gardening equipment (12%, up from 9% in 2020) and books (22%, up from 19% in 2020) have also seen increases in gift expectations as home-based hobbies continue to grow in popularity. However, interest in beauty products has plummeted. Demand for makeup, fragrances and skincare has steadily stepped down from 27% in 2019, and 23% in 2020 to 19% in 2021.

Almost half (46%) of Australians will purchase their gifts online this year and more than two-thirds (69%) will be doing so well in advance of December in anticipation of delivery delays.

“Despite the nation slowly emerging from extended lockdowns, Australians are still turning to Christmas purchases that will occupy them at home. There has been a fundamental shift in how Australia now operates as a society,” Pureprofile CEO, Martin Filz said.

“Our homes are now truly our base; it’s where we work, where we spend our free time with family, where we shop and where we have had to celebrate milestones like Christmas. Undoubtedly some of our lockdown habits are going to stick with us for some time.

“It is, however, encouraging to see some healthy Christmas budgets this year. It might be a herald of the further economic recovery to come in 2022. Regardless, as international borders open next year, Australia’s adjustment back into a pre-pandemic lifestyle will be compelling to watch.”