While men everywhere in Canada like myself will likely leave their Christmas shopping to December 24 in a frantic rush to the downtown area of whatever locale they live in, statistics are showing that the majority of Canadians will be “webrooming” or “showrooming” in much more planned-out fashion.
The majority of Canadian holiday shoppers this season will use use their personal computers, tablets and smartphones as shopping tools, a new study from Accenture revealed. Nearly three-quarters of Canadian holiday shoppers plan to “webroom”, meaning they will research and review items online before purchasing them at a store. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) will also engage in “showrooming,” which means visiting a store to look for a gift and then buying it for the best price online.
“More people are using smartphones as part of a seamless shopping experience to get immediate pricing and product information in the palm of their hands, while at home or in a store,” said Accenture in Canada’s Kelly Askew. “That means Canada’s retail sector is more competitive than ever before, and stores must have a robust online, mobile and social media strategy to capture holiday spending dollars.”
The numbers further revealed that nearly one-third (30 percent) of people actually intend to use their tablet, smartphone, or a combination during their in-person shopping. Consumers who said they would use a tablet or smartphone for their holiday shopping would do so to compare prices in store (30 percent); avoid crowded stores (17 percent); better discounts or deals (14 percent), shop with more convenience (14 percent); take advantage of improved technology (12 percent); receive mobile text reminders on sales (11 percent) and alerts for in-stock items (nine percent).
The trend towards integrating web and store into holiday shopping ties closely with other consumer spending patterns identified in the survey. Most Canadians (81 percent) plan on spending the same amount or less on their holiday shopping this year than they did last year, perhaps implying that increased use of mobile devices in shopping is expected to lessen shopping time every successive year.
Finally, nearly three-quarters of Canadians (74 percent) will do at least some online shopping this holiday season. Of these Canadians, more than a quarter (26 percent) will make at least half of their purchases online, rather than in retail stores. Canadians said they would buy more holiday gifts online if retailers offered free shipping (63 percent) and discounted items compared to in-store prices (56 percent).