With less than a month to go before Christmas Day, Australians are expected to spend $475 on average on Christmas gifts, according to research from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

This is expected to equate to a total consumer spend of $7.8 billion nationwide. Meanwhile 3.3 million Australians will spend an average of $1,152 or $3.7 billion nationally on vacations during the festive period. In total, Aussies will spend over $16.2 billion during Christmas 2012.

The multi-billion dollar spend is expected to benefit businesses in the retail and travel industries with most planning to spend big on Christmas gifts, holidays and during Boxing Day sales.

The research found for retail businesses, shoppers plan to buy the vast majority (70 per cent) of their Christmas gifts at bricks & mortar stores, with less than a third (30 per cent) of gifts planned to be purchased online. This means that a total of $5.5 billion will be spent in bricks & mortar stores verses $2.3 billion online.

According to Adam Bennett, executive general manager, local business banking, Commonwealth Bank, these results show that businesses across the country should have an opportunity to claim their piece of the Christmas spending pie.

“We know that the unpredictable nature of the current economic climate means many businesses are still adverse to taking unnecessary risk, but our research shows that many businesses should be actively looking to take advantage of the millions of Aussies who plan to open their wallets this Christmas,” he said.

Other businesses in the hospitality and grocery industries could also see an uplift in sales as consumers plan to increase their spend on food and drink in and out of the home this Christmas.