According to PwC Canada's Holiday Outlook report, Canadian consumers plan to significantly reduce their travel spending this upcoming holiday season.
Overall, travel spending is expected to decrease by 58.5% to $308 per person in 2020 (down from $743 in 2019). In fact, more than half (59%) of respondents don't plan to travel at all during the holiday season.
While travel spending is expected to decline significantly, spending on gifts is likely to be about the same: the expected decrease in this regard in 2020 is only 2.6%.
Among the different generations, millennials are expected to spend the most on all holiday season purchases. And young people are also much more likely to travel this season, the report notes.
Convenience, health and safety
For the 2020 holiday season, Canadians plan to shop more online than in stores, as they prioritize convenience, health and safety over the shopping experience.
Interestingly, online shopping from a desktop or laptop computer is on the rise this year, especially among those who have been telecommuting since the start of the pandemic. These buying habits may continue, as 57% of respondents plan to telecommute full or part time in the future.
The report's authors note that while cross-border travel is limited, online cross-border shopping is growing in popularity.
“Even a possible lifting of travel restrictions between the United States and Canada, before the holidays, would not change the sharp drop in the number of respondents who said they considered shopping cross-border in-store. However, we are also seeing an increase in cross-border online shopping, a phenomenon we call the rise of the global consumer."
All in all, PwC recommends that merchants prioritize convenience, health and safety, in preparation for the holiday season 2020.
Some key questions to consider:
- How do you show your customers that you prioritize their health before they even set foot in the store?
- Have you implemented or improved digital contactless devices?
- How do you set up your stores to offer an experience that is both practical and accessible?
- Have you invested in developing your employees' digital skills so that they can better serve your customers, both in-store and online?
The report is based on a survey of 1,000 consumers in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Click here to read it.