Canadian Shoppers Are Generous…and Romantics At Heart

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Wherever your sentiments fall, it turns out that the majority (68 per cent) of Canadians are romantics at heart, with as many men as women agreeing that Valentine’s Day is more than just a “silly holiday”. In fact, while the average Valentine’s Day gift cost is $58, Canadians have spent an average high of $200 on their beloved, according to a recent poll by Ebates.ca. And when asked what they’d most like to receive for the occasion Canadians want to dine out (33 per cent), followed by receiving flowers (15 per cent).

The poll looked at Canadians’ gift giving habits for occasions including birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, housewarmings, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. It seems Canadians are always celebrating something as gift giving is an on-going, year-round activity with 84 per cent of Canadians purchasing at least one gift in a typical month, up slightly from last year. When taking into account regional differences, the poll found that Canadians buy an average of two gifts per month, with Quebecers buying the most (three per month) while those in the Prairies buy the least (1.5 gifts per month).

But how much are we spending per gift, on average? The three most expensive gifting occasions are weddings, at an average cost of $120, followed by birthdays ($90) and anniversaries ($87). Canadians shell out equally for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day ($58 each), but a little less for dads ($54) and babies ($53), and the least for housewarming gifts ($43).

“The majority of Canadians generally like giving gifts and our survey shows that they can be quite generous,” said Adrienne Down Coulson, General Manager, Ebates.ca. “The cost of gift giving can really add up over the year, so it’s important to be savvy about value and use online shopping both as a source of inspiration and creative ideas as well as the best way to make sure you’re getting a great deal.”

Gift Shopping Trends
It’s no surprise that gift certificates top the list of what we are most likely (38 per cent) to give for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s/Father’s Day. Then again, roughly as many (40 per cent) say it’s what they would most like to receive for these occasions. But it seems the whole gift giving process can be rather complicated. On the one hand, most Canadians (54 per cent) prefer to be surprised by the gift they receive, something that’s particularly true for women (63 per cent) versus men (49 per cent). And while many of us (44 per cent) still strive to find creative gift ideas that no one else would think to give, nearly half (43 per cent) of men feel that cash is king and prefer to just “gift themselves”, versus 38 per cent of women. Only three in ten Canadians say they give very specific hints as to what they’d like to receive.

And what about luxury gifts? Canadians are most likely to give a luxury gift for anniversaries (30 per cent), though the definition of luxury varies. Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians are most likely to consider an item as luxury if it’s something the gift recipient would never buy for themselves; 27 per cent consider it luxury if it costs more than they would normally spend (the average amount which would be considered luxury is $380) and 12 per cent consider something from a high end store to be a luxury item.

The good news is that when it comes to gift giving overall, Canadians generally like doing it – less than a quarter (23 per cent) do so simply because it’s expected of them.

Birthdays and Anniversaries 
Birthdays and anniversaries continue to be the most challenging occasions to buy for, universally ranking as the hardest top two, respectively, for the second year in a row. After weddings, respondents say they spend the most money on birthdays ($90) and anniversaries ($87), though these figures are down slightly from last year ($101 for each). This may not bode well for the 47 per cent of Canadians who would most like to receive a luxury gift for their birthday, and the 25 per cent who say they would like a luxury gift for their anniversary.

Weddings 
It turns out that weddings aren’t just stressful for the bride and groom, but also for the guests who are attending. Given that the summer months are most popular for weddings in Canada, it’s also one of the most expensive gift giving times of the year, and 30 per cent of Canadians stress about the expense. Not only are we shelling out the most money for this occasion in the form of a cash gift – couples give on average $150 – but 20 per cent are also stressed about finding the right outfit, though this is more likely for women than men (26 versus 14 percent). And while 21 per cent worry about finding the right gift, weddings are the one occasion when cash is the gift most likely to be given and preferred to receive.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
When it comes to gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Canadians generally have a harder time shopping for dads. Women especially are three times more likely as men to say that Father’s Day is the hardest occasion to shop for, yet men don’t have the same gift shopping anxiety when it comes to Mother’s Day. When shopping for either of these occasions, Canadians are most likely to consider cost as a factor (35 per cent), followed by practicality (30 per cent) and uniqueness (29 per cent). Perhaps it’s because they already have everything they need, but parents are pretty low maintenance when it comes to gifts, saying they most prefer a meal out or time with the family (34 per cent each), while 10 per cent would like a day off from doing chores.

About the survey The Ebates Canada survey was conducted online in late January 2017 with a nationally representative sample of 1,057 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Ebates.caAbout Ebates Inc. The Ebates brand supports a strong community of millions of savvy shoppers around the world. Ebates.com was founded in 1998 and has paid over $300,000,000 in cash to its global members. In 2012, Ebates began international expansion with the launch of Ebates Canada, specifically designed by Canadians for Canadians. Ebates.ca membership is free. To earn cash back, online shoppers log in to Ebates.ca and click through to a partner retail site to complete their purchase. Ebates.ca then tracks the purchase and offers back in cash a percentage of everything bought. Every quarter, Ebates.ca sends members their cash back account balance in the form of a #BigFatCheque or #BigFatPayment through PayPal. Members also have the option to send their cash back to a designated charity.

SOURCE Ebates Canada