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More Canadian Consumers Expected to Shop Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021: Study

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More Canadian consumers are expected to shop this year during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and they will be spending more money as well.

According to the recent 2021 Shopify Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend Global Buyer Survey, 61 per cent of Canadian consumers plan to shop during the BFCM weekend, which is higher compared to last year (50 per cent).

It also found that BFCM shoppers plan to spend $542 over the long weekend, up from an average of $481 planned in 2020.

Hudson’s Bay Queen Street (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Solmaz Shahalizadeh

Solmaz Shahalizadeh, VP Data Science and Engineering at Shopify, said people have no hesitation to go shopping this year compared to their feelings a year ago. Part of the reason is the widespread vaccinations for COVID-19.

“People have gone out of that survival mode,” she said, as people are more mobile and thinking about gifts for their loved ones as well as buying things for themselves.

“We’re also seeing some uptick in economic recovery which means people have more disposable income to spend on gifts and things for themselves as well this year.”

And that’s good news for all the merchants out there who have had to navigate the challenges of the pandemic for more than a year and a half.

Some of the key findings from the survey include:

  • Half of Canadian consumers planning to participate in BFCM will be shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (50 per cent), with 32 per cent planning to shop more on Black Friday and 18 per cent planning to shop more on Cyber Monday;
  • Overall, 82 per cent plan to participate in Black Friday and 68 per cent in Cyber Monday;
  • Men plan to spend significantly more than women ($669 vs. $421), as are those with children at home ($683 vs. $461 no children at home);
  • A large majority of Canadian consumers planning to participate in BFCM say that COVID-19 will impact their shopping (84 per cent): Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) plan to increase their online shopping;
  • 34 per cent of online BFCM shoppers mentioned wanting to avoid shopping in-store because of COVID-19, significantly less compared to last year (51 per cent);
  • Canadian BFCM shoppers are still more likely to shop online than in-store. Overall, 89 per cent of Canadian BFCM shoppers plan to shop online and 60 per cent plan to shop in-store;
  • 39 per cent of BFCM shoppers plan to shop online only (down from 52 per cent in 2020);
  • 50 per cent plan to shop online and in-store (up from 45 per cent in 2020);
  • 10 per cent plan to shop in-store only (up from 3 per cent in 2020);
  • Canadian BFCM shoppers main reasons for shopping online during BFCM are: want to take advantage of online sales (51 per cent), save time (46 per cent), get better prices online (45 per cent) and take advantage of free shipping (44 per cent); and
  • The top categories Canadian BFCM shoppers plan to purchase are: Electronics (47 per cent); Clothing/footwear/accessories (46 per cent); Toys/games/hobby supplies (31 per cent); and overall, the top category in terms of total spend is electronics (31 per cent).

Shahalizadeh said the spend in the electronics category is something that has been seen consistently over the years.

“It is one of those items and categories that has a lot of discounts happening during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. So it’s always one of those categories that consumers are planning to spend quite a bit during this weekend,” she said.

She said the trend toward more consumers shopping online has been around for the past few years.

“Part of it is the convenience of shopping online and even in the pandemic days it’s pushed all the generations, older generations, also to come online so it’s not limited to a particular demographic anymore,” said Shahalizadeh.

“The other thing is that with online shopping their options for personalization and better product discovery, things for example we are doing to help our merchants really get in front of the right customers, and this again has resulted in the shift towards online shopping.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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