TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Canadians are radically reassessing how they
spend their money by focusing primarily on cost and quality, according to a new American Express study released today. This renewed
focus on value for money and quality goes hand-in-hand with a new type
of consumer behaviour in which Canadians seek products and services
that are in line with their personal values and that support both their
local and national economies.
"Canadians are increasingly looking for meaning in their purchases, so
when they buy products they are asking questions about whether the
product is ethically made or environmentally friendly," said retail
consultant Anthony Stokan, partner at Anthony Russell and Associates in
Toronto. "People are looking for a closer relationship with what they
buy by choosing local products and retailers."
The report -"American Express: Consumer Spending Futures: The New Era of
Pause and Purchase"- classifies four key consumer spending trends that
have emerged and looks ahead to see how new technologies, changing
social norms and increased brand transparency are causing a significant
shift in the way consumers will shop and spend in the future.
The new report found key indicators that show how consumers are
redefining value and how businesses can better connect with customers.
"The savviest spenders in Canada now consider so much more than just
cost," said Jennifer Hawkins, VP and General Manager Consumer Products
and Partnerships, American Express Canada. "We're seeing a 180-degree
turnaround from the last decade where consumption was conspicuous. Now
people are buying to make a statement about the kind of world they want
to live in."
Top Four Consumer Spending Trends for 2011 and Beyond
The four key trends that are shaping Canadian consumer spending today
were identified based on a combination of consumer survey data, expert
interviews and qualitative research that form consumer case studies:
1. SLEDS (Supporting Local Economies Through Direct Spending)
Urban consumers report that they are shifting their habits towards those
of their rural neighbours, seeking more local, home-grown and
community-focused interactions, both in-person and online. These
'SLEDS' buy to be part of their local community and are shopping for
more sustainable products that protect the environment.
36% of Canadians say they want to be a greater part of the local
community, therefore they buy from local brands and vendors
Almost half (47%) say the availability of locally-sourced or
locally-made products affects their spending today
46% say they were more aware of their environmental impact as consumers
Implications: In the coming years, more consumers will continue to patronize
smaller, community shops, local vendors and brands. Additionally, more
ethical products will be prioritized as consumers make choices that
promote a more self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle.
2. V-tailing (Value retailing)
Canadians are shopping less, are choosing products that represent value
for money and expect value from brands that align with their own desire
for simplicity and ethical living.
76% of Canadians describe themselves as cost-conscious and 62% describe
themselves as quality-driven
46% say they are more conscious of their environmental impact
Implications: Consumers will seek out brands whose actions are in sync with their
personal beliefs. They may soon expect reminders of who or what their
purchase benefits to make their efforts tangible.
3. SMUGS (Socially-Mobile Ultra-Green Seniors)
Canada's 55 to 64-year-old demographic is redefining traditional notions
of the baby boomer generation. These seniors value individual freedom
and they seek luxury and new experiences.
Almost one out of ten (87%) of 55 to 64-year-olds make luxury purchases
One in three (27%) say 'being free' is essential to their quality of
More than half (54%) say being able to access the internet nearly
everywhere impacts their shopping habits
Implications: So-called Boomers will expect to play a bigger part in creating
products and goods, radically changing the traditional retail model.
Cost-conscious young consumers aged 18-34, brought up in an era of
online sharing and collaboration, are choosing to downsize and simplify
their possessions, experiencing products and services rather than
Almost half (48%) think very carefully about what they buy
32% think long and hard before spending money
More than half (57%) say they shop for things they 'need,' versus 37%
who say they shop for things they 'want'
Implications: Younger consumers will gravitate toward businesses that offer a
chance to make a smaller investment tailored to their perceived
frequency of use of a product or service. A 'Cost per wear' and 'Cost
per use' way of thinking will permeate purchasing decisions for this
The study, conducted by Future:Poll, the research division of The Future
Laboratory, explored the impact of change on current and future
consumer-spending trends across six key markets: Canada, the US, the
UK, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
For more information on the report, please contact Killeen Kelly at email@example.com
About Consumer Spending Futures: The New Era of Pause and Purchase
American Express commissioned Future:Poll, the research division of The
Future Laboratory, to explore the impact of change on current and
future consumer spending trends across six key markets. The survey
polled the opinion of 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 65+ years old in
each of the six countries, totaling 6,000 respondents. The process
utilized a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodology,
spanning extensive desk and visual research, online consumer surveys,
expert interviews and consumer case studies.
About The Future Laboratory
Recognized internationally for its innovative approach to trend
forecasting, consumer insight and brand strategy, The Future Laboratory
offers qualitative and quantitative insights into future consumers.
Since 2001, they have developed a consultancy that unites editorial
work, independent research and creative thinking of the highest caliber
with engaged operations that respond to a brand's need for research and
About American Express in 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 Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc.
operates the Corporate Travel, Travel Services Network and Travellers
Cheques divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices
in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians
Visit American Express Canada on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanexpresscanada
SOURCE American Express
For further information:
Killeen Kelly, on behalf of American Express, (416) 644-2273, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Amanda Betti, American Express Canada, (905) 474-7903, email@example.com;