Capital One research shows shift in consumer behaviour and spending patterns

Source: Capital One

Canadians, particularly millennials, have shifting values, views and preferences when it comes to how they spend their money and why they spend where they do, according to new Capital One research.

Canadians are favouring experiences over ownership, so much so that 85 per cent would rather have two years of amazing experiences (including travel, concerts and dining out) than upgrade from an affordable car to a luxury vehicle.

Born from disruptive technology, the sharing economy has created a reinvention of market behaviour, enabled closer human connections to create a "we-based" culture, and elevated the sharing of resources to a platform that is easier for consumers of all income brackets to budget for and access.

In 2015, Capital One Canada hosted its inaugural C1NDX, the first in a series of roundtables focused on customer-centric design and the impact it has on product and technological innovation. The first roundtable hosted top journalists, academics and industry experts, and focused on how disruptive technology is impacting consumer spending habits.

At the intersection of consumer data, user behaviour, technology and expert opinions, Capital One uncovered a few key learnings about how Canadians' spending is changing within the context of the sharing economy.

A new "minimalist mindset" has emerged.
The lower cost often associated with the sharing economy creates a "bridge" for potential users:

  • 46 per cent of millennials would be open to buying a house with friends – and living in it together – to share the cost.
  • Airbnb can help bridge the gap between lower- and higher-cost accommodations, and is most popular with those under 30, females and those earning $50,000-$75,000 , according to the Capital One analysis.

Canadians are craving unique experiences that have a brand new flavour.
Canadians are going to great lengths to spend on unique and exciting experiences, and will reward the brands that provide them:

  • 53 per cent of millennials will go out of their way to check out something that they saw many people – even strangers – posting about on social media just so they can be in the know.
  • Although Canadians are spending more with Airbnb than hotels, the average duration of Airbnb stays may be longer. Why? The majority of Canadians (58 per cent) want to live like a local when travelling so they'll have more unique stories to tell. This number increases to 67 per cent when looking at millennials.

The convenience of going cashless influences product/service adoption levels.
In the age of the sharing economy, user experience is a primary driver of consumers choosing to adopt new products and services:

  • Canadians are more willing to interact with apps, services and companies that provide the convenience of digital payments – 70 per cent of millennials think that using digital or mobile payments is more convenient than using cash.

Trust, trends and the future of Canadians' spending.
Convenience and transparency may influence how Canadians spend in the future:

  • 54 per cent of Canadians agree that using digital payments makes it easier to transact and budget monthly expenses.
  • 63 per cent of millennials are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that enables a rating system by customers, as ratings can help bring transparency to the transaction.

"It's clear that technologies and companies born out of the sharing economy are disrupting the way Canadians are defining value and interacting with products and brands," says Jay Acharya , Senior Director of Digital Product Strategy at Capital One. "These interactions are impacting their budgeting habits and spending patterns in the process. We're a company focused on understanding our customers' needs, and these types of studies enable us to create products and services that help our customers better manage their money." 

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