Google and Ipsos Reid report that more Canadians will shop for Christmas gifts online this year than ever before.
According to the report, Over Black Friday (Nov. 29) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 2), more people plan to shop exclusively online (42 per cent) than exclusively in stores (33 per cent).
The remaining 25 per cent will use shop both online and in-store for gifts - more than double the proportion of Canadians who said the same last year.
However, Christmas budgets are down 11.5 per cent over Christmas 2012, with shoppers' intended holiday spending dropping to $629 from $711, on average.
"Consumers are generally more conscious this year of value and budget," said Alexandra Cohn, principal analyst for retail and technology at Google Canada. "But we know retailers are cautiously optimistic that sales will remain flat."
Other highlights from the October 26 report include:
- Although just two in 10 presents will be purchased online, nearly nine in 10 Canadians (87 per cent) will use at least one online source during the shopping process to research deals, read product reviews or compare store prices.
- There has been 44 per cent year-over-year growth in search terms surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Mobile searches on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are up 113 per cent.
- Half of Canadians plan to use their phones as part of the shopping process - up seven points from 2012.
"This is going to be the biggest online Christmas ever - and I don't just mean ecommerce," said Rafe Petkovic, head of industry-retail for Google Canada. "(The Internet) is an increasingly crucial part of Canadians' purchase decision process."
More than seven in 10 shoppers will purchase gift cards, with dining/entertainment, department store, clothing store and bookstore cards proving the most popular.
In terms of electronics, 35 per cent plan to buy tablets, up from 26 per cent last year; 27 per cent are likely to buy smartphones, up from 21 per cent; and 27 per cent are eyeing gaming systems, up from 25 per cent.
As for when Canadians will be shopping, just 25 per cent won't finish until the last minute. The share of consumers who plan to shop during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, meanwhile, has more than doubled: 37 per cent of consumers, versus just 16 per cent last year.