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Most Canadians plan to spend as much
as they did last year for their holiday purchases
Majority confident in economy
Toronto, November 28th
– In a random sampling of public opinion
taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1477 Canadian consumers aged 16 or older, most
say they will be spending as much as they did last year on holiday purchases.
Over half of Canadians (55%) plan
to spend $500 or less on holiday purchases this year (virtually unchanged from
last year), almost a quarter (22%) will spend between $500 and $1000 while the
remainder will spend more than $1000.
Canadians aged 16 to 34 are
those most likely to spend $500 or less this holiday season as just over 4 in 6
(68%) say this is the amount they plan to spend. This contrasts with about half
in every other age group who say they will be spending in this same range; 35
to 44 (57%), 45 to 54 (46%), 55 to 64 (47%), and 51% for those aged 65 or more.
Regionally we observe that for
most regions of Canada about half of shoppers intend to spend $500 or less; 55%
in Atlantic Canada, 47% in Ontario, 56% in Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and 52% in
Alberta. Shoppers in Quebec and British Columbia however are most likely to be
spending in this range with 2 in 3 saying they intend to spend $500 or less for
their holiday purchases (65% and 64% respectively).
Online shopping expected to gain in popularity with holiday shoppers
online shopping represents about half of all holiday shopping for Canadians
(51% say they did at least some of their shopping online in 2017) a slight
increase in intention to make purchases online for this year’s holiday period
is observed. In 2018 55% say they now intend to make at least some of their
holiday purchases online.
Those most likely to make at
least some of their holiday purchases online in 2018 are Canadians aged 35 to
44. Three in four (74%) say they plan to shop online for some of their items.
With those under 34 or those between 45 to 54, over half say the same (63% and
59% respectively). Only 2 in 5 (43%) of those aged 55 to 64 have this intention
and only just over a third of those 65 and over (34%) would say the same.
Many anticipate changes to their shopping plans as a result of the
Canada Post strike
Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of those surveyed feel that
a Canada Post strike would result in a change to their holiday shopping plans.
This feeling is much more prevalent among Canadians under the age 34 where 1 in
3 (32%) say the same. Older Canadians feel the strike will affect their plans
to a lesser extent; just over 1 in 5 feel the strike will affect their plans
among those 34 to 54 (22%) while those over 55 are least likely to feel
affected by the strike (16-17%).
Abandoned online purchases due to a strike most likely to be made in
Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians surveyed (47%) would abandon their online
purchase and seek the product in a brick and mortar store if they saw during
the online checking out process that Canada Post was the only option delivery
option. 1 in 5 (20%) would look for the same product on another web site and
the remainder would simply buy the product anyway and hope that it arrives on
time (22%). 1 in 10 are undecided.
While the most common reaction is to go to store rather than purchase
online when Canada Post is the only delivery option, there are some key
differences in how younger Canadians react vs. older Canadians. More than a
quarter (27%) of those 16 to 34 years old would simply switch to a different
website. This shopping cart abandon in favour of a different online retailer is
less likely to occur with Canadians over 35; approximately 1 in 5 (22%) of
those 35 to 44 would opt for a different web site, less than 1 in 5 (18%)
shoppers 45 to 54 would so the same, and even less for those 55 to 64 (16%) or
2 in 3 Canadians use online shopping as
a means of research for their in-store holiday purchases
66% of Canadian shoppers say
they use online tools to research products they intend to ultimately purchase
in stores. The main reason for this is that consumers still feel the need in
some instances to see and touch the product they will be purchasing. Over 2 in
5 state this as the main reason for purchasing a product in store that they
have researched online (44%).
Only 1 in 5 will go to a store
specifically to see a product that they will ultimately purchase online
Only 20% of Canadians asked
say they will go to a store to see a product prior to purchasing it online.
This behaviour is most common with men with nearly a quarter saying they would
do this (24%) while only 1 in 6 (16%) would do the same. The primary reason for
this is that consumers know or believe that they are getting better pricing
online. Nearly half (42%) state this as the main reason for ultimately purchasing
the product online.
Canadians feeling good about Canada’s
2 out of every 3
Canadians (66%) say they have some or a lot of confidence in Canada’s current
economy. 29% Say they have a lot of confidence while 37% say they have some.
Just over one quarter
are not confident in Canada’s economy, with 16% saying they have not much
confidence, and 12% saying they have no confidence at all.
6% say they don’t know.
Most Canadians feel their current
financial situation is the same or better than it was last year.
Three quarters of
Canadians (74%) feel their financial situation is at least the same or better
than it was last year, with a third (33%) saying their financial situation is
better than this year than last. 1 in 10 (11%) are saying their financial
situation is a lot better.
“Consumer confidence is
high this holiday season, with expected holiday spending to match last year’s
numbers,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Canadians are
confident in the economy and are feeling a bit better about their finances than
they did at this time last year; and that should mean a Merry Christmas for
both shoppers and retailers alike.”