New study finds B.C. residents are spending less while doing so online, early and local

Shop local, early and online

A new study from Insights West has found a significant number of B.C. residents will spend less this holiday season compared to previous years.

While the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more people are pushing to shop local, shop early and shop online this year. 

Out of the 78 per cent of British Columbians who are holiday shopping, 42 per cent are planning to spend less than they normally would. This includes 25 per cent who will spend a little less and 17 per cent who will spend a lot less.

Amid this shift in spending, more people are doing their shopping online. The number of shoppers in B.C. planning to do more online shopping has nearly doubled from last year - 61 per cent compared to 33 per cent. 

Last year, 45 per cent of residents planned to do the majority of their holiday shopping online. This year, the number has increased to 64 per cent. 

More people are shopping local with 34 per cent planning to spend more at Canadian-owned businesses and 39 per cent planning to spend more with B.C. owned businesses. 

Due to concerns with shipping and inventory, 42 per cent of shoppers in B.C. have finished their holiday shopping already. 

For charities it has been a challenging year as many fundraising events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Although there is some good news as 26 per cent of British Columbians plan to donate more to charities this year. 

“The pandemic has been devastating to small and medium-sized businesses across the province, and despite hopes for some pent-up demand to materialize, our poll suggests the holiday shopping season will provide little relief to businesses already under the strain of a challenging 2020,” president of Insights West Steve Mossop.

“In a given year of normal economic expansion, the proportion of shoppers who intend to spend more always outweighs the number spending less, whereas this year the proportion spending less is more than double the percentage spending more. If there is any consolation, it is that consumers are going out of their way to support the local economy, and they are shopping earlier.”

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