This Holiday Season, Canadian Consumers Want a More Mobile Shopping Experience

Canadian consumers want a more mobile shopping experience, but retailers aren’t keeping up with their needs, suggests a new report.

According to Accenture’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey, only two percent of Canadian respondents will do the majority of their holiday shopping through mobile apps or mobile-enabled websites, even though interest is high.

“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.”

70 percent of Canadians say they could be convinced to download a retailer’s app, with the most important incentives being the ability to view their loyalty program (35 percent), locate items in store (31 percent), and access to personalized offers and coupons (29 percent), according to the report.

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.

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).

“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 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.


“The tradition of Boxing Day, and the opportunity to buy items for themselves or their household, may be why we are seeing consumers still flock to stores on December 26, even though only a quarter of consumers believe this is when the best deals can be found,” said Mr. Sahota.

Only 27 percent said they would travel to the U.S. to shop, compared to 24 percent last year. Thirty-one percent of shoppers cited the weak Canadian dollar as their reason for staying put to shop this year.