Accenture’s Holiday Shopping Survey: Canadian consumers to consider retailer’s reputation before opening up their wallets

  • Optimism, spending on the rise; consumers increasingly value digital experiences
  • Black Friday growing in popularity; now more popular in Canada than in US

TORONTO, 2016-Nov-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Canadian consumers will be guided by their conscience when making purchasing decisions this holiday shopping season and will consider a retailer’s reputation for working conditions, buying policies, community involvement and ethics before opening up their wallets, according to Accenture’s annual Accenture Canada Holiday Shopping Survey.

The survey—now in its fifth year—found that a large majority (77 percent) of Canadian shoppers said a retailer’s reputation is important when making their purchasing decisions, with more than one-quarter (27 percent) saying they consider reputation to be extremely important.

“Building both trust and respect are the major themes this holiday shopping season,” said Kelly Askew, managing director of Accenture’s Retail Strategy practice in Canada. “Retailers need to be efficient, innovative and responsible in how they do business in order to gain consumers’ trust. Brands must also respect their customers’ time and help them make purchases more easily if they don’t want customers to leave and shop elsewhere.”

The survey also examined frustrations stopping consumers from shopping at physical stores or online. The main frustration preventing Canadian consumers from purchasing goods in-store more often is long lines, cited by 51 percent of respondents. On average, Canadian shoppers are willing to wait six minutes in a queue before giving up, and two-thirds (65 percent) of Canadians abandon their purchase after 10 minutes. Additionally, 41 percent of shoppers said they would leave a store if there are long check-out lines to buy online instead. Not being able to handle the product, as well as shipping issues, are the top frustrations that prevent consumers from buying more goods online, cited by 55 percent and 44 percent of respondents respectively.

According to the survey, Canadian consumers plan to do a majority of their holiday shopping in a physical store rather than online. Increasingly, they value digital interaction with retailers, and online shopping is increasing in popularity.  The number of respondents who said they plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping online increased 15 percent this year, to 38 percent, versus 33 percent last year.  In addition, the number of Canadians who prefer in-store shopping fell 15 percent since last year, from 62 percent to 53 percent this year.

The results of the survey showed consumers increasingly use the two channels together in order to find the best deals. The percentage of consumers using their smartphones in-store to compare prices rose 20 percent, to 41 percent, from 34 percent a year ago, while mobile use was popular for those seeking loyalty points (61 percent) and real-time promotion prices (52 percent).  Approximately three-quarters (74 percent) of shoppers said they plan to partake in ‘showrooming’—i.e., visiting a store in person to review a product before purchasing it online—and approximately the same amount (76 percent) said they plan on ‘webrooming’—i.e., shopping for a product online before buying it in a brick-and-mortar retail store.

“Canadian consumers will use their smartphones as a digital companion to in-store shopping this holiday shopping season and expect retailers to offer a seamless experience that bridges both channels,” said Robin Sahota, managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice in Canada. “Applications that collect loyalty points and offer promotions are particularly popular because they let consumers save while eliminating the need to carry loyalty cards or coupons.”

Among the additional trends identified by the survey:
 
Increasing Optimism about Personal Finances, Consumers Likely to Spend More but Appear Loyal to Local Brands

  • Thirty-nine percent of Canadian shoppers plan to spend more on their holiday shopping than last year – a five-percentage-point increase.
  • Canadians expect to spend $873, on average, on holiday shopping this year, an increase of 17 percent over the $744 they expected to spend in 2015.
  • One-third (31 percent) of respondents said they feel optimistic about their financial situation coming into the holiday season, versus 26 percent who said the same last year.
  • Nearly half (45 percent) of Canadian consumers said they plan to purchase from local brands, more than those who said they plan to purchase from American or international brands (37 percent and 19 percent, respectively).
  • Purchasing from Canadian brands is more important to older consumers: Canadians over 60 were six times as likely as those 18-24 years old to say they will do a majority of their shopping with local brands (54 percent versus nine percent).

Black Friday and Boxing Day Shopping Plans

  • More than two-thirds (70 percent) of shoppers surveyed said they will likely shop on Black Friday this year, compared with 60 percent in 2015. In fact, more Canadian survey respondents said they will shop on the traditionally American shopping day than did U.S. respondents (70 percent versus 65 percent).
  • More than two-thirds (70 percent) said they plan to shop on Boxing Day, versus 64 percent who said the same last year.
  • One-third (32 percent) of shoppers said they believe the best deals will be available on Boxing Day and/or week (32 percent), versus 28 percent who said that they believe the best deals will be available on Black Friday.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of consumers plan to shop in-store on Black Friday or Boxing Day so they can buy personal items at a cheaper price, and more than one-quarter (28 percent) of consumers said they won’t start their holiday shopping until December.

Methodology
The Accenture Canada Holiday Shopping Survey offers insights into consumer buying patterns during the holiday period, providing an indication of retail performance expectations both on the high street and online at a key time for the sector. This year’s survey was conducted online Sept. 12-23 using a representative sample of 1,500 consumers across Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Contact:
 
Theresa Ebden
Accenture
+ 1 416 358 6741
theresa.ebden@accenture.com

Source: Accenture

Accenture UK Holiday Shopping Survey: spending on Christmas purchases is set to increase this year

  • One in five shoppers plan to spend more this Christmas season than last year, and almost half (43 percent) of UK shoppers feel optimistic about their financial situation
  • Over half (53 percent) of respondents anticipate doing the majority of their Christmas shopping online
  • Barriers to continued growth in mobile shopping, include concerns about privacy or security
  • Food and drink has overtaken clothing as the most popular items for shoppers to buy as a gift

LONDON, 2015-11-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — With less than five weeks until gifts are unwrapped across the country, spending on Christmas purchases is set to increase this year, with one in five consumers planning to spend more than last year. A further two thirds (68 percent) plan to maintain their levels of spending, according to new research from Accenture.

Almost half (43 percent) of UK shoppers surveyed are either confident about how much they have to spend this Christmas, or feel optimistic about their financial situation more generally, pointing to a promising period for retailers.

Now in its second year, the Accenture UK Holiday Shopping Survey offers insights into consumer buying patterns during the Christmas period. It gives an indication of retail performance expectations both on the high street and online at a key time for the sector. Over 1,500 UK shoppers from around the country were surveyed about their Christmas shopping intentions.

While spending is set to increase, British shoppers still can’t resist a bargain with a quarter (24 percent) of shoppers seeing a discount of between 20 percent – 29 percent as enough to convince them to buy a product. Almost half (48 percent) of respondents report that in-store promotions enhance their shopping experience.

“The intention of consumers to spend more this Christmas points to what should be a strong trading period for retailers,” said Matt Prebble, managing director, Retail, Accenture UK & Ireland. “We found that 35 percent of consumers have already started purchasing their Christmas gifts, giving retailers an extended period to drive revenue. To ensure they capitalise on this opportunity, retailers should make sure they are offering a seamless experience with targeted offers and promotions extending across all of the digital and physical channels.”

Over half (53 percent) of the respondents anticipate doing the majority of their Christmas shopping online with 44 percent planning to do the majority of shopping in-store. The growth of mobile shopping, in particular, is set to have an impact on spending this holiday season, with 41 percent of consumers citing better discounts and deals as a reason to shop using a mobile, smartphone or tablet.

There are barriers to continued growth in mobile shopping, however. More than a third (39 percent) of consumers are concerned about privacy or security, with an additional 31 percent citing concerns about the fact that not all sites are mobile enabled. Given the increasing prevalence of mobile, this presents both an opportunity and a risk for retailers over the holiday season.

“Consumers want to shop via any channel, at any time,” said Prebble. “So it is critical that retailers begin to think with a mobile first approach to ensure they provide services in a way that the customer wants, or they could risk losing trade to their competition.”

Increased levels of spending seem set to be driven by an increased demand for food and drink gifts, with almost two thirds (64 percent) of shoppers planning on buying such items, up from 49 percent last year.

However, the survey delivered potentially bad news for those hoping for a new Christmas jumper. In an indication of shifting consumer trends, only half (51 percent) of consumers are planning to buy clothing as a present this holiday season, down from two thirds (64 percent) in 2014.

Despite the confidence and increased spending intentions, consumers are still worried about external factors potentially impacting their Christmas budget. More than a third (39 percent) are concerned about an unexpected emergency reducing how much they have to spend on Christmas gifts, with energy bills (32 percent) and rising food bills (30 percent) also having the potential to cut into Christmas spending.

Methodology
Accenture conducted an online survey with Coleman Parkes using a representative sample of 1,513 UK consumers in September and October 2015.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 358,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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Contact:

Molly McDonagh
Accenture UK
+ 44 (0)7825 023 622
molly.mcdonagh@accenture.com

SOURCE:  Acccenture