Canadians Want to Embrace Mobile Commerce but Retailers Aren’t Delivering Good Experiences

Canadian consumers want a more mobile shopping experience, but retailers aren’t keeping up with their needs, leaving them to buy gifts on more traditional channels such as stores and computers, Accenture’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey reveals.

Nearly half enjoy in-store shopping so much that they are open to shopping right through Christmas.

Despite living in a nation with some of the highest smartphone use per capita in the world, only two percent of Canadian respondents will do the majority of their holiday shopping through mobile apps or mobile-enabled websites. Top reasons consumers avoid shopping on a smartphone or tablet are privacy or security concerns (38 percent), frustration with retail sites that are not optimized for mobile browsing (28 percent), and difficulty finding products on sites or apps (18 percent).

“The way Canadians think about shopping for the holidays is changing, and retailers must offer a more enhanced mobile browsing and shopping experience to drive sales at the busiest time of year,” said Robin Sahota, Managing Director, Retail at Accenture. “Consumer demand is still high:more than a third are planning to spend even more this year than last year—and they even want to shop on Christmas Day.”

Consumers are willing to spend more than last year on their holiday shopping, and for nearly half (49 percent), hunting for deals in-store shouldn’t take a day off—not even on Christmas. In addition, 34 percent of Canadian respondents are planning to spend more on their holiday shopping this year than the previous year, a 13 percent jump from Accenture’s 2014 survey.

“This season, consumers are looking for a mobile app that is a holiday shopping companion, rather than simply a way to buy things as they would on a laptop,” said Kelly Askew, Managing Director, Retail Strategy at Accenture. “The better the customer journey is through the seamless integration of their mobile, online and in-store experiences, the greater the opportunity to win them over and make their holiday shopping a positive time for them.”

The survey showed the current Canadian mobile shopping experience is not good enough to replace in-store shopping, which is preferred by 62 percent of respondents. However 58 percent said they don’t like long lines and crowds in-store, 40 percent said the stores are too far, 36 percent are frustrated by a lack of inventory/options in a physical store, 32 percent said they dislike parking challenges, and 25 percent said they just don’t have time to shop in store.