A lot of CANADIAN RETAILERS AND CONSUMERS are still confused about how to navigate the holiday season this year. The uncertainty is clearly evident from the responses given to the 2020 Canadian Holiday Outlook Survey. Over 33% of respondents haven’t yet decided what their plans in general are going to be for the holidays retailer

In this article, we’ll explore several crucial holiday shopping trends and behaviors that all retailers should know about. These insights were obtained after a thorough analysis of the responses given by 1000 suburban and urban consumers in a survey, which was conducted back in August this year.

Consumers are extremely worried about the coronavirus pandemic

The implications and impact of the coronavirus pandemic are the biggest concerns on the minds of Canadian consumers.

When respondents were asked about their general views about the state of the economy and its projected performance in the next 6 months, over 69% of them stated that it would fare worse compared to last year. This negative sentiment was most seen in people hailing from the Greatest Generation, Gen X, and the Baby boomers. Over 50% of Millennials had the same response as well.

More than 57% of survey respondents said that the pandemic had a negative/slightly negative impact on their spending habits for the holidays.

Canadians Are Buying Gifts and Abandoning Travel Plans

Canadians don’t expect to exceed last year’s holiday spending budget in 2020. They are also cutting back on their travel plans.

In 2020, over 86% of survey respondents said that their spending would be ‘same or less’ compared to the previous year. In 2019, over 83% of survey respondents said they would be exceeding the previous year’s spending budget. Canadians are expected to spend less on their holiday shopping this year for the most part.

Consumers are also changing their holiday spending habits drastically. While their expenditure on gifts is likely to remain the same, it is their travel budgets that are being slashed. As a matter of fact, over 59% of survey respondents said that they wouldn’t be traveling anywhere for the holidays.

Safety, convenience, and health are the top priorities

Online shopping activity levels will exceed in-store shopping in 2020 – that’s pretty much a given. However, is this trend here to stay?

Canadian consumers are planning to do their shopping online instead of heading over to stores for the holidays as convenience, safety, and health are the top priorities on their minds.

Online shopping levels have shot through the roof this year. This rise is more evident in the population that’s allowed to work from home. Online shopping habits are here to stay with over 57% of survey respondents stating that they would be working either part-time or full-time from their homes for the foreseeable future.

Key Takeaways

It’s time to adapt your strategies to suit what the customers are looking for.

Safety, health, and convenience need to be the top priorities for any stores looking to welcome customers for the holidays. Show customers that their health is your priority even before they enter your store. Implement contactless, digital-focused systems in your store to provide an accessible and convenient customer experience. Invest in upgrading your employees’ digital skills, which will help them provide a better online and in-store experience to your customers. Pay attention to emerging trends, adapt your strategies accordingly, and you’ll do just fine.