Conservative spending trend means consumers rely on technology to
compare products and prices
TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadians will use their
personal computers, tablets and smartphones as shopping tools this
holiday season, an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey shows. Nearly three-quarters of Canadian holiday
shoppers plan to "webroom", meaning they will research and review items
online before purchasing them at a store. Nearly two-thirds (63
percent) will also engage in "showrooming," which means visiting a
store to look for a gift and then buying it for the best price online.
Nearly one-third (30 percent) intend to use their tablet, smartphone, or
a combination thereof to assist in their holiday shopping this year.
Even so, consumers who find the best deal online will buy that item on
their personal computer at home (64 percent). Consumers who said they
would use a tablet or smartphone for their holiday shopping would do so
to compare prices in store (30 percent); avoid crowded stores (17
percent); better discounts or deals (14 percent), shop with more
convenience (14 percent); take advantage of improved technology (12
percent); receive mobile text reminders on sales (11 percent) and
alerts for in-stock items (nine percent).
"More people are using smartphones as part of a seamless shopping
experience to get immediate pricing and product information in the palm
of their hands, while at home or in a store," said Kelly Askew,
Managing Director, retail management consulting at Accenture in Canada.
"That means Canada's retail sector is more competitive than ever
before, and stores must have a robust online, mobile and social media
strategy to capture holiday spending dollars."
The trend towards integrating web and store into holiday shopping ties
closely with other consumer spending patterns identified in the
survey. Most Canadians (81 percent) plan on spending the same amount
or less on their holiday shopping this year than they did last year.
Reasons for not spending more include a desire to keep the holidays
simple and not too extravagant (46 percent), as well as economic
conditions, such as a rise in living expenses (31 percent) and having
less discretionary income (29 percent). Canadians surveyed cited
concerns about rising food bills (34 percent), a desire to not increase
credit card debt (31 percent) and gasoline prices (30 percent) as the
main factors negatively affecting their holiday spending.
Almost two-thirds (60 percent) of Canadians plan to spend $500 or less
on holiday shopping this year. Of those expecting to cut back on their
spending, almost half (44 percent) will do so by reducing their
shopping budget by $100 to $250. Additionally, when it comes to holiday
spending, more than half of Canadians (57 percent) will set a holiday
budget with a maximum dollar amount at the start of the holiday season.
According to those surveyed, the key shopping behaviours of consumers
this holiday season include:
Online vs. retail store shopping: Nearly three-quarters of Canadians (74 percent) will do at least some
online shopping this holiday season. Of these Canadians, more than a
quarter (26 percent) will make at least half of their purchases online,
rather than in retail stores. Canadians said they would buy more holiday gifts online if retailers
offered free shipping (63 percent) and discounted items compared to
in-store prices (56 percent).
Canadians plan on taking advantage of US deals this holiday season - in
store and online: Almost two thirds (60 percent) of Canadians plan on taking advantage of
US deals during the holiday season. Of those who plan on spending
money with US retailers, 20 percent will only shop in-store south of
the border, 30 percent will shop online only, and almost half (48
percent) plan to both shop online and in-store south of the border.
The importance of discounts: Sales and discount items are still important to consumers with over
three-quarters (76 percent) of Canadians saying they estimate half or
more of their holiday shopping purchases to be discounted. When
shopping for the holidays, most Canadians will search for and buy
discounted items, and 43 percent will decide what to buy and then
search for a store offering it at a discount. Discounts of 20 percent
of more are needed to persuade the majority of shoppers (86 percent) to
Gift cards popular this season: Almost three-quarters of Canadians (74 percent) plan on purchasing a
gift card this holiday season, with the majority (68 percent) buying
the gift card in-store, and fewer (19 percent) planning to buy a gift
card online. About half (47 percent) of all respondents plan to buy up
to three gift cards.
About the survey
Accenture conducted an online survey using a representative sample of
over 1200 Canadian consumers evenly distributed across Toronto, Calgary
and Montreal in late September 2013. The survey is considered accurate
95 times out of 100, plus or minus three percent.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with approximately 275,000 people serving clients
in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience,
comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business
functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful
companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become
high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net
revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013.
Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Image with caption: "Accenture (CNW Group/Accenture)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131106_C4638_PHOTO_EN_33039.jpg
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