Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shoppers to check online first

Search web before hitting stores, study shows

  • Print

MONTREAL -- Canadians will spend one to two per cent more this holiday season, but an increasing number will check for the best prices online before they head to the mall, a new study suggests.

"We think it's a highly price competitive Christmas," said Brent Houlden, Canadian retail practice leader at Deloitte, which released its 2012 holiday outlook survey Thursday.

Due to online price checking before going to the mall, shoppers are that much more demanding that "we get the real value up front," Houlden said from Toronto.

The study said 60 per cent of those surveyed will use the Internet during their holiday shopping for prices and research, up from 49 per cent in 2011.

Pricing loomed large in the holiday trends survey with 64 per cent of participants saying they will choose where they shop based on a store's low prices.

The survey didn't ask participants how much they would spend. Instead, it asked how many gifts they planned to buy.

Those surveyed said they would buy between one and 10 gifts with the top choices being gift cards followed by clothing and toys. Tech gifts ranked sixth on this year's wish list after having been at the top of the list in previous years.

Houlden said gift buying will be spread among online offers, U.S. retailers operating in Canada and cross-border shopping, helping keep prices competitive.

"Canadians are always trying to find the best price in Canada and then they go, 'Oh, what would it be in the States?' So we're doing a double price check all of the time."

But the Deloitte poll found that 67 per cent of those surveyed said they didn't plan to do cross-border shopping in the United States this holiday season.

Another 42 per cent responded that they would decrease the level of cross-border shopping over time as U.S. retailers open up in Canada. Discount retailer Target will open in Canada in 2013.

"So we hope cross-border shopping is at a peak."

Canadians on a jaunt to the U.S. for two and seven days are now allowed to declare $800 of goods, up from $400, while the limit for visits of more than a week increased to $800 from $750.

As for buying gifts online, about 55 per cent of Canadians surveyed plan to complete some of their shopping online.

The survey found just 40 per cent planned to use their smartphone or tablet to buy online, but 70 per cent would use these devices for product research.

Houlden said shoppers are now checking prices in stores with their smartphones, making it "tough on the sales associate" to stay current.

Regionally, almost 70 per cent of residents in the Greater Toronto Area planning to do some of their holiday transactions online.

The online poll was conducted between Sept. 21 to 27 with 2,349 Canadians.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Body pulled from river is missing 15-year-old girl

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google