As Canadians prepare for their second holiday season under the cloud of COVID-19, rays of light are emerging for many retailers as signs of a demand-fuelled recovery start to take hold. In this year’s edition of PWC’s annual holiday outlook survey, Canadian consumers say their personal finances are strengthening, perceptions of the country’s economic outlook are improving and they plan to significantly increase their holiday spending over last year.

But even with vaccination rates rising across the country, COVID-19 concerns still remain front and centre in the minds of Canadians. A slight majority (53%) say they expect the pandemic to have a negative impact on their 2021 holiday spending.

PWC prepared this year’s holiday spending forecast to give retailers insights into consumer sentiments as they navigate the country’s uneven economic recovery and meet new customer needs. The report explores Canadians’ evolving shopping habits, preferences and priorities, based on a cross-country survey of more than 1,160 consumers in late August 2021.

Highlights from the report:

  • There is pent-up demand among Canadian consumers. While their 2021 holiday spending is expected to jump significantly from last year, it will remain below pre-pandemic levels.
  • As online shopping trends continue to evolve, consumers are changing how they choose to receive their purchases. While home delivery remains most popular, the use of curbside pickup is increasing as consumers look to save money.
  • TikTok’s influence as an advertising platform that drives retail sales is growing, particularly among Gen Z shoppers. But it still lags behind Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
  • Millennials are projected to be the highest-spending generation this holiday season, spending on average $1618 per person.
  • Even amid the popularity of online shopping, consumers plan to spend approximately half their holiday shopping time in physical stores. Retailers can differentiate themselves by creating meaningful in-store experiences that keep customers engaged from their first impression to the point of sale.
  • COVID-19 is on the minds of many in-store consumers, 73% say they plan to shop in stores with visible health and safety measures in place. 

To view the full report, visit the PWC website. 

Source: PWC