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Black Friday in Canada
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Black Friday in Canada 

According to UPS Canada’s annual Black Friday survey, Canada-U.S. border officials should prepare to see a significant drop in the amount of southbound traffic during the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. The study was hosted by Leger’s online panel, Leger Web, with a sample size of 1540 participants. Its results reveal that less Canadians are taking their holiday shopping spree cross-border for legendary U.S. Black Friday deals. 

Since 2014, the number of Canadians likely to buy goods from the U.S, whether online or in-store, has dropped by 22 per cent (37 per cent vs. 29 per cent in 2015). Shoppers are aware of the changing economics and, among consumers unlikely to purchase from the U.S during Black Friday, the less-than-favourable exchange rate of 56 per cent was said to be the top reason for not going to the U.S. 

In comparison with 2014, 30 per cent of these consumers prefered to shop within Canada. Additionally, one quarter (26 per cent) said that local retailers are offering Black Friday sales. 

“In the past, we’ve seen Canadian consumers flock across the border to take advantage of Black Friday deals, but this year 84 per cent are unlikely to cross-border shop,” said Craig Calvert, director of customer solutions, UPS Canada. “The market is changing and Canadian retailers have an opportunity to take advantage of consumer’s preferences to shop local by offering aggressive Black Friday deals to keep and grow their market share in Canada. As Black Friday continues to gain momentum north of the border, retailers will be forced to participate in the price slashing to meet consumer expectations, especially among Millennials who are most likely to shop south of the border.”

Today, 85 per cent of Canadians shop online, with 32 per cent preferring to do so from the comfort of their home office, and 29 per cent from their living room. On par with 2014, one-third of shoppers (34 per cent) plan using an e-commerce site of a Canadian retailer to benefit from Black Friday sales.

Furthermore, Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely online or cross border purchasers of U.S. retailers. Consumers planning to purchase from U.S. retailers during Black Friday expect to save an average or $168, which are notably less than 2014’s ($249). 

Despite Black Friday being the traditional first day of Christmas shopping; only 34 per cent of Canadian consumers are actually buying gifts for their partner or spouse. More than half of buyers (54 percent) plan on purchasing goods for themselves. 

If retailers want to maximize the potential for long-term gain, particularly amongst online shoppers, it’s an absolute must for them to pay careful attention during the post-purchase experience. In fact, Canadian online consumers highlight that their online shopping experience could be made better through:

  • Transparent shipping fees (70 per cent)
  • Transparent duty fees (53 per cent)
  • Text or email alerts of shipment status (34 per cent)
  • Pick up of packages at a convenient location (27 per cent)

UPS is offering their My Choice service and UPS Access Point locations. Launched in 2014, UPS My Choice is a new home delivery option that will let busy consumers easily control and manage their incoming package deliveries to fit their hectic lifestyles. 

The service is combined with approximately 900 UPS Access points across Canada. Its purpose is to relieve the many consumer concerns related to shipping, such as missing packages, having packages left outside, trekking to a depot to retrieve missed packages, waiting all day for a package, or counting on others to sign for one. 

Globally, UPS expects to deliver over 630 million packages between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve. When compared to last year’s holiday deliveries, it’s an increase of more than 10 percent. On its peak day, Dec. 22, UPS predicts to deliver 36 million packages worldwide.

In preparation, UPS has increased its sort and delivery capacity which includes 200 new package cars, expanded domestic air capacity, and major upgrades to their sorting capabilities in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. 

“Black Friday is the kick-off to our peak season, which is an important time for UPS and our customers,” says Craig Calvert. “Our planning, investments and lessons learned from previous years has ensured we are prepared for the upcoming holiday season.”

 

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