No love for cyberspace; real world sales dominate Valentine's Day

MasterCard survey shows Canadians come to their senses for this holiday

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The overwhelming majority of Canadians prefer to trust their senses and shop for chocolates, flowers, intimate apparel and jewellery in brick and mortar stores rather than online stores, according to a poll conducted by MasterCard Canada. Even when purchasing intimate gifts, most Canadian men aren't shy about approaching a real sales clerk. Almost four in five men (78%) prefer the in-store lingerie shopping experience compared to 94% of women. But for some of those men, shopping in store is an act of courage because the survey revealed that a much smaller number than those who shop are actually comfortable with the in-store transaction. According to the survey:

  • 58% of Canadian males feel comfortable shopping in-store for intimates for themselves
  • 50% of Canadian males feel comfortable shopping in-store for intimates for their partner

The survey also found:

  • Almost 100% of Canadians prefer to buy chocolates in-store.
  • 82% of Canadians prefer in-store for jewelry purchases compared to 7% online
    • 76% of males prefer in-store versus to 88% of females
  • 81% of Canadians prefer in-store for flower purchases compared to 10% online
    • 81% of males prefer in-store versus 80% of females
  • 79% of Canadian females feel comfortable shopping in-store for intimates for themselves
  • 65% of Canadian females feel comfortable shopping in-store for intimates for their partner
  • Only 10% of Canadians surveyed said they felt more comfortable shopping online for intimates.

"This holiday bucks the double digit growth trend for eCommerce in Canada because Canadians clearly prefer the in-store and tactile experience when it comes to shopping for their loved one," says Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice President MasterCard Canada, Global Products and Solutions.

Of those who agreed that online shopping for intimates during Valentine's Day was more comfortable:

  • 40% liked that they could avoid long line ups and crowds
  • 34% found goods at a cheaper price
  • 31% enjoyed the speed and reliability
  • 30% stated it gave them the privacy

Insights from SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report produced by MasterCard Advisors based on aggregated and anonymous transaction data, shows that consumers tend to shop in-store versus online in the week leading up to Valentine's Day . Looking at the last 3 years of spend data during the week of February 14th in Canada, the trends indicated:

  • Purchases are clustered typically on the 13th, 14th and even the 15th for last minute and late shoppers.  However, the biggest day for traditional brick and mortar florists still remains Valentine's Day itself.
  • Spending trends relating to specific retail categories include:
    • Floral: Florists experience significant growth in spending on February 12th, 13th and 14th. For online floral purchases, the majority are made at the last cyber-minute thanks to the rush or next day delivery service offered by online retailers.
    • Restaurants: The Saturday immediately before or following Valentine's day is typically one of the top 3 or 4 days for restaurants each year.
    • Fine jewelry: sales in this category show a substantial bump from the holiday.
    • Department stores: there is little impact to this category from Valentine's Day.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse
Launched in 2006 by MasterCard Advisors, MasterCard SpendingPulse is a macroeconomic indicator that reports on national retail spending and performance. The report is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.

About MasterCard Advisors
MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard Worldwide, provides clients around the world with insights and solutions that drive business impact and ROI. The company uses advanced analytics and deep payments expertise to translate data into actionable behavioral insights and customized services. With more than 80 billion anonymized transactions processed annually in 210 countries worldwide, the company leverages aggregated information and a consultative approach to help financial institutions, merchants, media companies, governments and other organizations of all sizes grow their businesses. For more information, go to www.mastercardadvisors.com. 

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard NYSE: MA, www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

SOURCE: MasterCard Canada

For further information:

MasterCard Canada
Serda Evren
VP, Corporate Communications & Philanthropy
Serda_evren@mastercard.com
416-365-6671

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MasterCard Canada

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