5 Ways Frugal Canadians Will Save Money This Holiday Season

It is more critical than ever that we get to know our ideal target market, including how their mindset may have changed due to economic conditions. The same customer that could spend a lot of money on holiday gifts four years ago, may be in a much different financial situation right now. Check out the data below to get a general idea of how Canadians are approaching holiday shopping in 2023, and give some thought to how your customer personas may have changed their mindset.

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2023 /CNW/ – Canadians have adjusted their money-saving and gift-giving tactics, including a reduction of grand gift exchanges for smaller variations, according to Rakuten.ca’s Holiday Spending Survey in partnership with Ignite Labs. With the average anticipated spend on holiday gifts estimated to be $570, down from $600 in 2022, Canadians are looking to reduce their holiday spending amid rising costs seen throughout the year. Parents will likely be spending the most this year than any other demographic surveyed, estimating an average spend of $745 for this holiday season.

The survey found that Canadians plan to use an average of five cost-saving strategies, up from three in 2022. Cost saving measures include:

  1. 75 per cent actively looking for sales/offers
  2. 61 per cent planning to use loyalty programs like Rakuten.ca to earn cash back
  3. 35 per cent planning activities instead of gifts
  4. 56 per cent shopping earlier to spread out the expenses.
  5. 33 per cent are planning to drop some recipients from their typical lists, including friends, coworkers and neighbours.

“Offsetting the financial strain of one of the highest shopping periods of the year is often a priority for many Canadians and we’re seeing increasing numbers of consumers looking at ways they can save, whether it be shopping sales or stacking deals,” says Jennifer LaForge, General Manager at Rakuten.ca. “We’ve been seeing a lot more conscious consumers, especially those looking for everyday savings to balance the high-spend holiday season with the rest of the year.”

Savvy shoppers are consistently looking for new ways to save in times of increasing prices and are frequent users of money-saving tactics, cash back and loyalty programs as well as shopping sales throughout the gift giving season.

Loyalty Programs & Cash Back

As Canadians ramp up their money saving tactics, loyalty programs offering cash back will be increasingly utilized, with 65 per cent of respondents saying they prefer cash back versus the 35 per cent who prefer points systems. For holiday spending, 61 per cent said they would partake in the use of loyalty programs to earn cash back on their festive purchases.

Shopping Timing

Shopping at high sales times is a common tactic for Canadians, including the 63 per cent of those planning to shop Black Friday, 50 per cent planning to shop on Cyber Monday, and 46 per cent planning to shop on Boxing Day. 63 per cent of survey respondents also noted that they’ll be taking advantage of these sales to shop for themselves as well as others.

Shift in Gift Giving Tactics

When thinking of what they would like to receive themselves as holiday gifts this year, many Canadians say they would like to receive practical items that they actually need (63 per cent), followed by gift cards (53 per cent), experiences (28 per cent) and lastly luxury items (26 per cent). Thoughtful and responsible spending is top priority as Canadians are looking for ways to stretch their dollars further. In addition, to help manage holiday expenses, 76 per cent of Canadians plan to set an approximate budget for their shopping.

About the survey
The Rakuten Canada survey was conducted online by Ignite Lab, a Toronto-based survey consultancy specializing in retail, travel and technology segments, in August 2023 with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. References to previous Holiday research are from surveys conducted in 2022 & 2020 (approx. 6-months into COVID).

About Rakuten.ca
For over 10 years, Rakuten.ca is a leading shopping rewards program that offers Cash Back, deals and rewards from all your favorite brands. By partnering with over 750 brands in apparel, health and beauty, travel, on-demand services, subscription boxes and more, Rakuten helps Canadians get more from the things they buy. Since launching in 2012, Rakuten has become the largest and most rewarding shopping experience, and its 7 million members have earned $140 million in Cash Back just for shopping through Rakuten.

SOURCE: Rakuten.ca

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Doom & gloom on most reports for this year but I don’t see any sign of Canadians bying much less than usual. They’re thinking about it more and agree they want value more than anything. Great insights, thanks.