As we step into the 2023 holiday season, Canadian consumers find themselves balancing cost-of-living concerns with a desire to celebrate to the fullest. Despite a challenging economic landscape, the spirit of giving remains strong, with a unique Canadian twist on holiday spending habits.
Embracing the Festive Season
- Resilient Spending: Even with economic uncertainties, 76% of Canadians anticipate spending as much or more than they did in 2022.
- Budget-Conscious Shopping:
With rising interest rates and inflation, there’s a shift towards cost-consciousness, yet a readiness to spend.
Prioritizing Value and Experience
- Price as a Primary Factor:
A staggering 91% highlight the importance of product prices this holiday season.
- Seeking Frictionless Experiences:
Convenience in purchasing (87%), swift delivery (85%), and brand loyalty (63%) emerge as pivotal.
Understanding the Generational Shift
- Diverse Spending Patterns:
A noteworthy increase in holiday spending by Gen X and Gen Z, contrasting modest rises among Millennials.
- Comparative Spending Trends:
While Canadian holiday spending grows by 13%, reaching an average of $1,635 per consumer, it's outpaced by the US’s 7% growth yet at a slower total spend.
The Role of Physical Stores
- In-Store Discovery: 61% prefer discovering gifts in physical stores, climbing to 69% for Gen Z shoppers.
- The Power of Knowledgeable Staff:
43% rely on in-store employees for product recommendations, though there’s a need for more engaged and skilled retail staff.
Leveraging Emerging Technologies
- Digital Complements Human Interaction:
25% of younger generations are turning to technologies like VR, AR, AI, and the metaverse for holiday shopping.
- Generative AI for Personalization:
Brands can utilize AI for personalized recommendations, with 51% of consumers finding real-time suggestions helpful.
Creating a Future-Ready Retail Experience
- Investing in Staff:
Despite high turnover, retailers can gain a competitive edge by upskilling front-line staff.
- Strategizing AI Integration:
Developing a strategic approach to generative AI can unlock personalized shopping experiences.
As Canadian retailers navigate the nuances of this holiday season, understanding these spending habits and preferences becomes crucial. It’s about balancing cost-efficiency with creating memorable, value-driven customer experiences, ensuring that the festive spirit shines bright, even in challenging times."