SAUL GOOD GIFT CO. SURVEY SHOWS: Majority of respondents feeling less connected to friends and loved ones, but more likely to support local business since spring
TORONTO (November 3, 2020) – Saul Good Gift Co., a Canadian gift basket company with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, has announced findings from its September 2020 survey. As Canadians from coast to coast still find themselves bound by COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the results of the company survey suggest consumers are looking for ways to acknowledge their personal relationships as the holidays approach, while staying aware of how their buying habits support their own communities.
Saul Good’s survey found that a strong majority (72 per cent) of respondents feel less connected to their friends and loved ones since spring. Nearly all respondents (95 per cent) said sending a gift helps strengthen feelings of connection, while 97 and 91 per cent respectively said it mattered to them whether the gifts they sent and received supported local businesses.
There is also a trend toward replacing in-person holiday get togethers with remote experiences, as just over half (55 per cent) of currently-employed respondents said their workplaces would be making that switch this holiday season.
The survey was in response to the company noticing a 77 per cent increase in e-commerce sales from March through September 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Knowing how difficult 2020 has been for small business owners – a May StatCan release showed between 50 and 60 per cent of Canadian small businesses reported revenue declines of at least 20 per cent – the Saul Good team conducted a survey to help them in their efforts in supporting their local communities and meeting emerging consumer needs during this time.
“2020 has taken a toll in on in-person interactions and pushed us into a more remote way of doing things. As life itself hasn’t stopped moving, people are seeking out ways to acknowledge and celebrate milestones both personally and professionally, with physically distancing in mind,” said Saul Brown, founder, Chief Story Officer, and namesake of Saul Good Gift Co. “Our business is set up to support this consumer need during this time as purchases are made remotely – and our the products in our gift baskets are sourced from small-batch artisan suppliers in the communities where we operate.”
Community support happens to be a big part of the Saul Good business model. Since 2010, the company has been certified as a B Corporation for its outstanding performance toward employees, communities and the environment.
The company also works with a variety of social enterprises like the North Harvest Food Bank and The Culinary Crew at Alexandra Park to help build community. Saul Good estimates that each sold basket contributes to 45,000 employment hours per year at a living wage in the local economies where it works.
For Brown, the survey results affirm that Saul Good’s priorities are aligned with those of its customers. For others however, he hopes they can help illuminate ideas for how to celebrate 2020’s remaining milestones, and eliminate some of the stress of having to scramble for remote gift ideas as the holidays get closer. Brown added, “In our current climate, if you can offer people a gift that celebrates a special milestone, or create an event that connects friends and family, all while as supporting your community – that’s indispensable.”
SURVEY RESULTS Consumer feelings during COVID-19 physical distancing
● Survey respondents reported feelings of disconnect since the start of the pandemic, with a total of 72 per cent saying they felt either less connected (58 per cent) or a lot less connected (14 per cent) to their friends and loved ones since the spring.
● Respondents also feel that their ability to foster connections has been hampered by COVID-19, with 81 per cent saying they felt it was either a little harder (48.8 per cent) or a lot harder (32.8 per cent) to build relationships with others during the pandemic.
● Respondents recognized the meaning of gifting as a way to recognize relationships, with 88 per cent saying that they tended to feel more connected (60 per cent) or a lot more connected (28 per cent) to someone after receiving a gift from that person.
● 95 per cent of respondents said they thought them sending a gift helped them stay connected to the recipient. Consumer feelings on supporting local businesses since COVID-19
● Seventy-six per cent of respondents said COVID-19 had changed their perspective on supporting local businesses. Ninety-four percent of respondents whose perspective had changed said they now think locally-owned business matters a lot.
● Eighty-two per cent of all respondents said they thought supporting locally-owned business matters a lot.
● Ninety-one per cent of all respondents said when receiving a gift, it mattered either a bit (36 per cent) or a lot (55 per cent) whether it went to support local small businesses.
● Ninety-seven per cent of all respondents said when sending a gift, it mattered either a bit (23.9 per cent) or a lot (73.5 per cent) whether it went to support local small businesses. How plans for milestone recognition are shifting
● Sixty-three per cent of currently-employed respondents said COVID-19 had changed their plans to recognize employees and other relationships, while 71 per cent said recognizing employees with gifts like gift baskets is more important because of COVID-19.
● Fifty-five per cent of employed respondents reported that their workplace planned to send gifts this year, instead of in-person get togethers at the holidays.
● Eighty-five per cent of respondents said they preferred physical gifts (such as a cocktail kit) rather than virtual ones (such as an e-gift card), with 95 per cent agreeing that a physical gift would be more memorable.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The survey was distributed electronically through Saul Good Gift Co.’s social channels between September 25 and October 6, 2020. The results are comprised of responses from a sample of 123 consumers about their feelings around connection to their personal network, sending and receiving gifts, and supporting local business since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.