Should we shop online – or in person? Brave the crowds? Or wear our underwear while we do the bulk of the holiday shopping. Purchase goods from across the globe? Or keep the business in the neighbhourhood, and help support the local industries.
Now that we have entered into the accelerated world of gift buying, secret Santas and stressing on picking up that special item for that special person – here’s some food for thought while you wait for the computer to refresh, or patiently wait your turn in the long lineups this season:
ONLINE GIFT SHOPPING IS THE NEW NORM
More and more Canadians are shopping online. A recent survey reveals more Canadians are enjoying the added convenience that e-commerce provides, with 68% indicating that it is the fastest and most efficient way to shop for gifts during the holiday season.
Not great news for all the shopping centres and malls decked out for the holiday season – but even there, staunch supporters of protecting the local business environment continues, with many Canadians opting for buying Canada over other areas of the globe.
The recent survey (from the fifth annual Online Shopping Intentions Survery, commissioned by FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.,) also found that 69% of those surveyed believe online shopping offers a better selection of gifts, which suggest the rise of e-commerce has changed Canada’s approach to gift-giving. The survey also revealed there are many who are planning to shop online for the very first time.
“Each year we see strong evidence of the continued growth of online shopping, especially during the holiday season, where the number of packages making their way through our network continues to grow,” said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada. “E-commerce is now the new normal and as Canadians look to online shopping as a solution for their everyday purchases and holiday season shopping needs, they require shipping solutions they can depend on.”
The rapid growth of e-commerce has drawn in Canadians of all ages, notes the findings, from all corners of the country. Some additional survey findings include:
– 67% of Gen Xers are planning on shopping for holiday gifts online this year, compared to 59% who indicated that they did holiday shopping online in 2015.
– 43% of Baby Boomers are planning on shopping for holiday gifts online this year, compared to 36% who indicated that they did so in 2015.
– 76% are planning on shopping online this year, a slight increase from those who said they did in 2015.
Meanwhile, three in four Manitobans (75%) said they plan on gift shopping online this holiday season, the highest rate in Canada.
Two in three (67%) of B.C. residents and almost two-thirds of Ontarians (63%) indicated they are planning to shop online this holiday season.
Almost one-quarter of Quebecers (22%) will join the fray for the very first time this holiday season.
FedEx is expecting a busy holiday season around the world, with the four Mondays between Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Christmas Day projected to set records for the company.
CANADIAN E-RETAILERS BENEFIT FROM BUY-LOCAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING TREND:
PayPal, a global digital payments leader, along with Ipsos recently released research holiday shopping trends that revealed a buy-local mentality is sweeping across the nation with three out of four (73%) Canadians planning to buy holiday gifts online from Canadian retailers instead of buying from U.S. or international websites. Of those people, 43% are planning to buy more gifts from Canadian retailers than they did last year.
So the good news is – shopping local is now officially in vogue! The research reveals that this trend is driven by a multitude of factors with more than half (56%) of Canadians revealing they want to support local businesses and the economy. Canadians are also choosing to shop from domestic retailers because they want to avoid the cost of international shipping, taxes and duties (51%), unfavourable exchange rates (44%) and many (32%) prefer goods that are made in Canada.
“Canadian retailers are embracing e-commerce more than ever before and offering greater choice to consumers who want to shop online this side of the border,” says Kerry Reynolds, head of consumer marketing at PayPal Canada. “Canadian-sold goods are in demand and the Canadian economy stands to benefit immensely from this trend.”
Research shows Canadians are the one of the most plugged-in social media users in the world, spending an average of two hours and 19 minutes on social media platforms everyday.
Of interest is the fact that docial media enables people to gather instant feedback on products and services from friends, family and peers. To connect with consumers more directly, many brands engage celebrities or ‘influencers’– with large social media followings – to promote products. Turns out, we’re not so taken with celebrity endorsement – only seven per cent of Canadian online shoppers would consider buying a celebrity-endorsed item on social media. Looking at millennials specifically, this number almost doubles to 13%. We’re more influenced by family and friends!
MILLENIALS ARE RESPONSIBLE SHOPPERS
The PayPal Canada research revealed that millennials are leading the way when it comes to ‘responsible shopping’ – buying an item where a portion of proceeds are donated to a social cause or charity. Nearly seven out of ten (67%) millennials are planning to shop for gifts that give back this holiday season. Not only are millennials more likely to consider responsible shopping, one in four (26%) are willing to pay more for gifts that give back, compared to only 15% of 35-54 year olds and seven per cent of those above 55 years of age.
WE NEED A LAUGH
Many see 2016 as having been a rough year on all counts – an ugly presidential campaign, the deaths of many beloved musical legends and a listless economy. What do we need? A tacky holiday sweater! “Everyone’s looking for some comic relief,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., in an interview with Canadianbusiness.com. Turns out those tacky sweaters may be just the key. Sales in these ugly things has been growing steadily – a gift idea for that hard-to-buy for person in your life!