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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beware the 'holiday shopping flu' - there's only one prescription!

A study released today by eBay says that nearly half of Canadians are feeling the stress of finding the perfect gift this holiday season and 20% are considering skipping work to find it. An additional 13% say the stress of the holidays distract from their productivity at work.

The study goes on to say that 13% of employees would consider shopping online from their desks at work.

Here's the study from TNS Ncompass;


"Holiday shopping flu" may cause workplace absence, according to new research

Nearly 50 per cent of Canadians buying holiday presents say finding the perfect gift is stressful

TORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - The pressure to find the perfect gift may cause some Canadians to call in sick this holiday season, according to new research that reveals two-in-10 Canadians have skipped work - or considered it - in order to complete their holiday shopping. Others (13 per cent) are simply distracted by holiday shopping at their job, placing further pressure on their work/life balance.

According to the eBay Canada-sponsored survey, on average, shoppers are on the hunt for 14 perfect presents to give to nine different people this holiday season. Many shoppers are unknowingly increasing their stress level and decreasing their productivity by not going online.

While Canadians are planning to do more of their holiday shopping online this year, many are still stuck in an old-fashioned shopping mall mindset. According to the research, the overwhelming majority of Canadians buying gifts are still shopping during regular store hours, with only nine per cent taking advantage of 24-7 online service by shopping late at night, and even fewer (five per cent) shopping on-the-go with their mobile phone.

"For many, offline holiday shopping isn't retail therapy, it's retail agony," said Kimberly Moffit, a psychotherapist and eBay Canada's holiday counsellor. "Holiday shoppers are likely juggling work, family life, social engagements and holiday activities, and they're constantly feeling like they're running around and running out of time. As a result, they've put themselves in a stressful situation - some are even calling in sick with what we call the 'holiday shopping flu,' - while others admit that holiday shopping distracts them from their job."

"However, Canadians shouldn't give up on finding the perfect gift. Instead, busy shoppers should look for ways to integrate their shopping into their daily routine. It's about picking the right place and the right time. Rather than dashing to the mall at lunch time, shopping from the comfort of your desk is viable option - and certainly more productive and less stressful. The same goes for shopping by mobile phone on your commute home or in the evening - online shoppers are able to tackle their wish list without all of the unnecessary offline stress," says Moffit.

This is good news for Canadians who are shopping for the perfect gifts.

"Ferreting out the perfect gift amidst the chaos of busy malls and bustling Main Street is a pulse-elevating stress test nobody needs to take," says Tommy Smythe, one of Canada's top home d├ęcor designers and eBay's holiday gift giving expert. "Shopping online - from a computer or a mobile phone - is a stress-free way to save time and find unique, hard-to-find, or rare items that really show friends and family how much you care."

The survey also uncovered some additional interesting information about Canadians buying holiday presents:

  • Thirteen per cent would consider doing their holiday shopping online at work.
  • Twenty-one per cent have at least considered calling in sick to go holiday shopping.
  • Six per cent have actually called in sick to do their holiday shopping.
  • Holiday shopping distracts 20 per cent of Canadians from spending time with friends and family. Spending time exercising and participating in social activities also suffers during the holiday shopping season.
  • More Canadians are going online to do their holiday shopping, with nearly three in ten increasing their shopping online this year.
  • Saving time, avoiding crowds, and finding the best price, are also motivating Canadians to head online.

Canadians looking for the perfect gift should visit www.ebay.ca to get started. For on-the-go shopping, Canadians can also download eBay mobile apps for their iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7 device.

About the survey
TNS Ncompass Online Omnibus, conducted an online omnibus survey, interviewing 1079 adults aged 16 - 64. Interviewing was conducted between, 30th September and 4th October 2010. Sample was weighted to represent the adult population of Canada aged 16-64.

About eBay
Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited by nearly 6.9 million Canadians in August 2010. (comScore Media Metrix).

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