For many, most of their holiday spending goes towards gift giving. Or does it? A new poll by Ebates.ca finds that Canadians are spending a lot on secondary holiday expenses, too, which can add an average of $528 to the $602 they are already spending on gifts, for a grand total of $1,130.
In addition to buying gifts, Canadians are also spending money on holiday entertaining (92%), purchasing holiday décor (71%), buying new clothes and accessories for holiday events (69%), and travel to see family and friends (58%).
"Canadians may be spending more this year, but they are finding creative ways to stretch their holiday shopping budgets further," says Belinda Baugniet, Vice President of Marketing and Resident Shopping Expert at Ebates.ca. "If there's one pattern we've observed through our annual surveys, it's that Canadians are smart shoppers who engage in loyalty programs that offer points and cash back, as well as social media and apps that lead them to the best deals."
Canadians seem to have adopted Black Friday and Cyber Monday as their kick-off to holiday shopping, with 40% saying November is the most popular month to start their holiday gift buying. While most Canadians have already begun or even finished their holiday shopping, 35% say they get their holiday shopping done just in the nick of time with 48% of Canadians saying they complete their holiday shopping in December.
The majority of Canadians intend to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year (83%), dedicating on average more than one-third (36%) of their holiday budget to online shopping. Those under 45 anticipated the highest rate of online spending (44%) compared to those 45+ who are less inclined to shop online this holiday season (29%). Parents, who plan to spend an average of $762 on holiday gifts this year also plan to do a good portion of their shopping online (41%), as compared to those without kids (33%). Online shoppers are more likely to say they enjoy buying gifts (64%) versus those not doing shopping online (44%).
Regardless of where they shop, Canadians employ a range of clever strategies to make the most of their holiday budget. Sixty-three per cent of Canadians redeem loyalty points to purchase gifts and 61% make a point of shopping with retailers that offer loyalty programs or rewards, while 45% intentionally shop with retailers that offer cash back. Additionally, 56% make a point of shopping with retailers that have coupons; 36% use mobile apps or mobile payment; and 33% use store mobile apps to make purchases.
The majority of Canadians (87%) typically purchase gift cards as holiday gifts, noting that they simplify the gift giving process (84%). Nearly as many (86%) are happy to receive a gift card. Half of Canadians (49%) say they purchase gifts for others using gift cards they received as a present, something more prevalent among dads (65%) and younger shoppers under 35 (58%).
The poll also looked at Canadians' buying habits online versus in-store, finding that top online purchases for the holidays include books, electronics & toys, while top in-store purchases include gift cards, clothing and accessories, and health and beauty. When it comes to shopping online, time-saving or convenience was the top benefit cited by 26%, followed by the ability to find more unique items not available in stores (20%) and better prices (14%). In fact, regardless of how they shop, most Canadians are focused on finding the best possible gift (58%) versus the best deal (42%).
Canadians plan to accomplish a lot of shopping on Boxing Day, but the majority plan to buy presents for themselves (76%). While many Canadians have a separate budget put aside for Boxing Day (44%), most make use of gift cards received over the holidays (93%) to fund their Boxing Day purchases. In addition to presents for themselves, purchases made on Boxing Day will also include gifts for occasions throughout the year, such as birthdays (48%), holiday décor and greeting cards (29%) and gifts for next year's holiday (27%).
The top items purchased on Boxing Day include clothing and accessories (64%), electronics (57%), toys (32%), health and beauty (35%), books (27%), gift cards (23%), and sports gear (24%).
The Ebates Canada survey was conducted online in October 2018 with a nationally representative sample of 1,022 Canadians.
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