'Tis the season to shop…online

American Express Canada survey reveals Canadians plan to click their way to a stress-free holiday shopping season in 2011

MARKHAM, ON, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - One in five Canadians claim they'd rather clean the house than visit a mall the week before Christmas, and a shocking 8 per cent say they'd rather get a root canal than brave the long lines at stores. But holiday crowds are just part of the reason that more than half of Canadians plan to do some or all of their shopping online this season, according to the results of a survey and infographic released today by American Express Canada.

With 57% of Canadians (69% of Manitobans, 62% of Albertans and 61% of British Columbians) planning to shop online as the snow flies, the majority cite avoiding crowds (65%), finding deals (57%), having 24/7 access to retailers (57%) and simplifying their lives (58%) as their top reasons.

"When you consider that 60% of Canadians make two to five trips to retail stores during the holiday season, and the gas and parking costs involved, shopping online not only makes sense from a time-saving perspective, but also in terms of the holiday budget," says Tracey Evans, Vice President of Merchant Services Marketing at American Express Canada.

But what are Canadians planning to purchase online this holiday? The survey, conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of American Express Canada, reveals that the top categories for online spending this holiday are entertainment (68%), electronics (46%), apparel and accessories (41%), toys (31%) and gift cards (26%). When it comes to who buys what in the top online shopping categories, 62% of men purchase electronics, compared to 30% of women.

On the trend front, leveraging email and social networks to share holiday wishlists is gaining in popularity. Currently, one in five Canadians (21%) shares their wishlist via email or social networks like Facebook. This percentage is highest among B.C. residents at 34%.

"As a service-oriented company, we wondered what we could do to help bring Canadians a few clicks closer to the season's hottest items online," says Evans. "The result? Our new American Express Hot 100 Wishlist application on Facebook - launching on Wednesday, November 23 - which allows consumers to build and share holiday wishlists with their nearest and dearest."

With the launch of the application, American Express Canada is helping people find gifting inspiration and drop not-so-subtle hints about what they really want this year. The new Facebook application is a list of this season's 100 hottest gift ideas from American Express online merchants like Sony, Toys R Us, Dealuxe.ca, Roots, Ben Moss, Express and more.  Consumers can browse the list of gift ideas and put that 70" LED high-def TV, Rebecca Minkoff handbag or slick digital camera on their personal wishlist - and share it on their profile - or link directly to the merchant's online store.

"Canadians are waking up to the convenience and flexibility of online shopping, especially during the busy holiday season," says Joanna Track, co-founder and CEO of luxury online retailer Dealuxe.ca. "The American Express Hot 100 Wishlist application makes things even simpler by taking the best of the web and wrapping it up in a festive Facebook ribbon."

To test-drive the American Express Hot 100 Wishlist application, which officially launches on Wednesday, November 23, visit www.Facebook.com/AmericanExpressCanada.

About American Express Canada
American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express charge and credit cards, with outstanding products like the American Express® Gold Rewards Card, and the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/AmericanExpressCanada.

Image with caption: "American Express Canada releases new online shopping survey results. (CNW Group/American Express)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111122_C8064_PHOTO_EN_7035.jpg

SOURCE American Express

For further information:

For more information on the survey or to request a copy of the infographic, please contact:

April Brown
April.Brown@highroad.com
416-644-1793

OR

Amanda Betti
Amanda.BETTI1@aexp.com
905-474-7903

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