Most Canadians plan to spend as much as they did last year for their holiday purchases

| Filed under: National
CC Image courtesy of XoMEoX:

Most Canadians plan to spend as much as they did last year for their holiday purchases

Majority confident in economy

Toronto, November 28thIn a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1477 Canadian consumers aged 16 or older, most say they will be spending as much as they did last year on holiday purchases.


Over half of Canadians (55%) plan to spend $500 or less on holiday purchases this year (virtually unchanged from last year), almost a quarter (22%) will spend between $500 and $1000 while the remainder will spend more than $1000.


Canadians aged 16 to 34 are those most likely to spend $500 or less this holiday season as just over 4 in 6 (68%) say this is the amount they plan to spend. This contrasts with about half in every other age group who say they will be spending in this same range; 35 to 44 (57%), 45 to 54 (46%), 55 to 64 (47%), and 51% for those aged 65 or more.



Regionally we observe that for most regions of Canada about half of shoppers intend to spend $500 or less; 55% in Atlantic Canada, 47% in Ontario, 56% in Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and 52% in Alberta. Shoppers in Quebec and British Columbia however are most likely to be spending in this range with 2 in 3 saying they intend to spend $500 or less for their holiday purchases (65% and 64% respectively).


Online shopping expected to gain in popularity with holiday shoppers this year


While online shopping represents about half of all holiday shopping for Canadians (51% say they did at least some of their shopping online in 2017) a slight increase in intention to make purchases online for this year’s holiday period is observed. In 2018 55% say they now intend to make at least some of their holiday purchases online.





Those most likely to make at least some of their holiday purchases online in 2018 are Canadians aged 35 to 44. Three in four (74%) say they plan to shop online for some of their items. With those under 34 or those between 45 to 54, over half say the same (63% and 59% respectively). Only 2 in 5 (43%) of those aged 55 to 64 have this intention and only just over a third of those 65 and over (34%) would say the same.


Many anticipate changes to their shopping plans as a result of the Canada Post strike


Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of those surveyed feel that a Canada Post strike would result in a change to their holiday shopping plans. This feeling is much more prevalent among Canadians under the age 34 where 1 in 3 (32%) say the same. Older Canadians feel the strike will affect their plans to a lesser extent; just over 1 in 5 feel the strike will affect their plans among those 34 to 54 (22%) while those over 55 are least likely to feel affected by the strike (16-17%).




Abandoned online purchases due to a strike most likely to be made in store

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians surveyed (47%) would abandon their online purchase and seek the product in a brick and mortar store if they saw during the online checking out process that Canada Post was the only option delivery option. 1 in 5 (20%) would look for the same product on another web site and the remainder would simply buy the product anyway and hope that it arrives on time (22%). 1 in 10 are undecided.



While the most common reaction is to go to store rather than purchase online when Canada Post is the only delivery option, there are some key differences in how younger Canadians react vs. older Canadians. More than a quarter (27%) of those 16 to 34 years old would simply switch to a different website. This shopping cart abandon in favour of a different online retailer is less likely to occur with Canadians over 35; approximately 1 in 5 (22%) of those 35 to 44 would opt for a different web site, less than 1 in 5 (18%) shoppers 45 to 54 would so the same, and even less for those 55 to 64 (16%) or 65+ (13%).

2 in 3 Canadians use online shopping as a means of research for their in-store holiday purchases


66% of Canadian shoppers say they use online tools to research products they intend to ultimately purchase in stores. The main reason for this is that consumers still feel the need in some instances to see and touch the product they will be purchasing. Over 2 in 5 state this as the main reason for purchasing a product in store that they have researched online (44%).

Only 1 in 5 will go to a store specifically to see a product that they will ultimately purchase online

Only 20% of Canadians asked say they will go to a store to see a product prior to purchasing it online. This behaviour is most common with men with nearly a quarter saying they would do this (24%) while only 1 in 6 (16%) would do the same. The primary reason for this is that consumers know or believe that they are getting better pricing online. Nearly half (42%) state this as the main reason for ultimately purchasing the product online.

Canadians feeling good about Canada’s economy

2 out of every 3 Canadians (66%) say they have some or a lot of confidence in Canada’s current economy. 29% Say they have a lot of confidence while 37% say they have some.

Just over one quarter are not confident in Canada’s economy, with 16% saying they have not much confidence, and 12% saying they have no confidence at all.

6% say they don’t know.

Most Canadians feel their current financial situation is the same or better than it was last year.

Three quarters of Canadians (74%) feel their financial situation is at least the same or better than it was last year, with a third (33%) saying their financial situation is better than this year than last. 1 in 10 (11%) are saying their financial situation is a lot better.


“Consumer confidence is high this holiday season, with expected holiday spending to match last year’s numbers,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Canadians are confident