It comes as no surprise that inflation is impacting Canadians and their gift-giving this holiday season. A study from cloud-based customer engagement and business insights platform Givex finds that inflation is impacting 74% of Canadians’ holiday spending.
Based on the findings from the 2023 Holiday Gift Card Survey, inflation is exerting a growing influence on Canadians’ holiday spending this year, with three-quarters (74%) of Canadians reporting that inflation will impact their gift-giving plans, an increase of nearly 9% from last year. This sentiment is felt among Canadians across all provinces, sexes, and household income (HHI) levels, with each reporting a year-over-year increase.
The Givex survey also reveals that despite inflation, Canadians are still spending, though not as much as last year. One in five Canadians (20%) plan on spending at least $200 on gift cards this holiday season (down from 27% in 2022), with over half (53%) of Canadians expected to spend at least $100 or more on gift cards this holiday season.
“The impact of inflation has been felt by Canadians this year, with increasing costs of living across the board,” says Mo Chaar, Chief Commercial Officer of Givex. “Our Holiday Gift Card Survey data reveals the effects of rising prices on consumer spending and provides valuable insights into shoppers’ preferences for gift cards. As we gear up for one of the busiest times of the year for retailers and hospitality establishments, and with customers expected to spend less than in previous years, it’s more important than ever for businesses to maintain customer loyalty. Givex equips brands to make better-informed business decisions, strengthen their relationships with customers and, ultimately, increase sales.”
The changes in mindset don’t relate to income: 78% of those with household income below $50,000 agree, as do 73% of those with an income of $100,000 or more (up nearly 20% from 61% in 2022).
One in five (20%) Canadians plan on spending $200 or more on gift cards this holiday season (down from 27% in 2022), with over half (53%) of Canadians expected to spend at least $100 or more on gift cards this holiday season (down from 61% in 2022).
Almost half (43%) of Canadians say they would most like to receive a gift card for necessities (such as groceries and gas) this year, up slightly from 41% in 2022. Only 37% of men say they would most like a gift card for necessities, compared to almost half (48%) of women. More than half (52%) of younger people (aged 18-34) say they would most like to receive a gift card for necessities as a gift, compared to just over a third (35%) of those who are aged 55 and up.
42% of Canadians with an annual household income of over $100,000 say they’d like to receive a gift card for necessities as a gift, up from 35% in 2022. Meanwhile, almost half (48%) of those with a household income of less than $50,000 say they’d most like to receive a gift card for necessities as a gift.
Nearly all Canadians like receiving gift cards: only 6% say they don’t like getting them as a gift. Credit card gift cards are the most popular option, with a majority (55%) picking them as one of their favourite types to get, up from 50% in 2022.
Almost four-in-five Canadians (78%) agree that buying a gift card is less stressful than finding a physical gift.
As the cost of living rises, some Canadians are adjusting their holiday gift-giving plans accordingly. There is a growing demand for digital shopping experiences, and leading this digital transformation, Givex recently launched customizable and animated e-gift cards that enable shoppers to add a personal touch to their digital gift cards with heartfelt video messages or images.
The survey was conducted by Givex from October 27 to November 1, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,509 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.