November 21, 2012

More Canadians choose to shop online this holiday season

TORONTO--Crowded malls, long lineups and busy parking lots were once non-negotiable when it came to shopping for the holidays. With almost a quarter (23%) of Canadians saying they'd rather clean their toilets than visit the mall the week before the Christmas and another one in 10 admitting they'd rather work than shop in crowded malls through the season, a growing number of savvy shoppers are now clicking their way to a stress-free holiday.

A recent survey by American Express Canada revealed that a full 56 per cent of Canadians plan to shop online for holiday gifts this season, up five per cent from 2011.

Holidays aside, an overwhelming number of Canadians realize the benefits of shopping from home, the office or on the go. Eighty-eight per cent of Canadians say they've shopped online in the past year. Of those, 51 per cent did so to find better deals, half for the ease and convenience (50%), 39 per cent for 24/7 access to retailers and the same number to avoid crowded malls (39%).

"Time is always precious, but at the holidays it's at even more of a premium. Between holiday entertaining and events, visiting with family and friends, and winter travel, there never seems to be enough time to do everything you'd like," says Colin Temple, Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services at American Express Canada. "What we're seeing is that Canadians are embracing online shopping , not only because of the time it saves them from standing in line, but because it's easy to browse gift options and then have purchases delivered right to where they need to go. We're going a step further this year to make things even easier with the new American Express Holiday Hotlist. "

The American Express Holiday Hotlist application allows users to browse the season's must-have online finds from hundreds of American Express merchants, add the items they're wishing for to their personal "Hotlist" and share it with friends and family on Facebook. With hundreds of top gift ideas to choose from, it's easier than ever to drop not-so-subtle hints about what you really want this year while finding gifting inspiration for those who may be difficult to shop for. Merchants include Best Buy, The Gap, Banana Republic, Roots, Toys R Us, plus many more.

Additional findings from the survey include:

The majority of Canadians (69%) who say they don't shop online cite safety as their number one deterrent

Online shopping is helping Canadians avoid long holiday lines: Nearly two-thirds (63%) say the longest they would wait in line at a store during the holiday shopping season is less than 15 minutes

Top trends for online spending this holiday include
•Entertainment (57%)

•Electronics (39%)

•Clothing and accessories (38%)

•Toys (28%)

Top three gifts that Canadians dread receiving during the holidays are:

•Fruit cakes (20%)

•Tacky holiday ornaments (18%)

•Ugly sweaters (17%)

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company.






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