Yet 66 per cent use loyalty points, cash back to bring down holiday expenses:
TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2019 /CNW/ - Holiday shopping is in full swing for Canadians! According to a recent survey on holiday shopping trends by Rakuten.ca (formerly Ebates.ca) 36 per cent of Canadians have started their holiday shopping this month, and are likely to spend a whopping $546 on average this year on gifts.
However, 83 per cent of Canadians say they're likely to spend as much, if not more, than they did last year and parents are more than likely to shell out the big bucks – an average of $708 – compared to their childfree counterparts, who spend an average of $452. Those on the east coast are expected to spend the highest in the country, with an average of $686; however, Quebec will reportedly spend the least, citing an average of $421.
"Once again we're seeing Canadians shopping early so they can finish ahead of the busy holiday season," says Graziella Mitri, brand specialist and resident shopping expert at Rakuten.ca. "Those who shop early are benefitting from more selection and better deals, particularly online."
The survey reveals that shopping early for the holidays may be a wise strategy. Sixty per cent of Canadians noticed prices and sales less appealing the closer it gets to the holidays. Pricing isn't the only factor though; 87 per cent note that the selection gets worse the later it gets, and more than half of Canadians (56 per cent) are looking for the best possible gift as opposed to the best possible deal (44 per cent).
If you're trying to avoid holiday shopping crowds, consider shopping online like the majority of Canadians – which is now at 85 per cent from 83 per cent in 2018. About a quarter (24 per cent) find shopping online to be more convenient, with 18 per cent reporting they're able to find items not available in stores, and 16 per cent find better prices online than in stores.
"Shopping online is still the top way to guarantee you're going to get the best selection," says Mitri. "You get to forgo the holiday crowds, competing for parking and lugging bags around. Savvy Canadians are also using loyalty points and Cash Back to save. With the craze surrounding holidays, anything that makes life a bit easier (and cheaper) is a great bonus."
Even in Canada, the best days for holiday shopping continue to be Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with roughly half of Canadians planning to shop on these two major deal days (53 per cent for Black Friday and 43 per cent for Cyber Monday). Clothing/accessories, electronics and toys top the shopping categories for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These shopping days are not only about buying gifts, as more than 50 per cent of Canadians will be shopping for themselves.
Gifts aren't the only expense of the holidays. Many Canadians (87 per cent) will spend an average of $168on items for holiday entertaining, including additional groceries and alcohol; 75 per cent will be dishing out an average of $141 on holiday outings and dining out; and still over half (66 per cent) will be spending an average of $94 on holiday décor.
With the holidays being an expensive part of the year, it makes sense that Canadians are looking to employ strategies to bring down the cost. Sixty-four per cent of Canadians are aiming to shop with retailers that offer loyalty points, and 62 per cent will be redeeming a store's loyalty points for gift purchases. Shopping with retailers that offer cash back will also be a major strategy for 49 per cent of consumers, up from 45 per cent in 2018.
"From entertaining or travelling to visit family, to buying décor and gifts, the holidays can get expensive fast, and also tend to be a very busy time for most Canadians," says Mitri, adding that consumers can ease some of the stress by taking advantage of Rakuten's expanded grocery section with new merchants such as such as Inabuggy and Walmart. "The less you have to worry about over the holidays, the more time you get to enjoy them."
About the survey The Rakuten Canada survey was conducted online by Ignite Lab, a Toronto-based survey consultancy specializing in retail, travel and technology segments, in October 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,023 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
About Rakuten.ca. Rakuten.ca is a leading e-commerce company that provides free membership for deals, rewards and Cash Back to its over 5 million Canadian members – and counting. Since launching in 2012, Rakuten.ca has helped Canadians earn over $70 million in Cash Back at over 750 of their favourite top-name retailers. Rakuten.ca headquarters are located in North York, Ontario, and is proudly built by Canadians, for Canadians. For more information, visit Rakuten.ca.