TORONTO -- Online shopping remains the retail source of choice for most Canadian shoppers as consumers head into the holiday shopping season and a new survey shows more people want to buy Canadian.

The holiday shopping survey by the Retail Council of Canada found that 90 per cent consider it important to shop with a Canadian retailer. 

“I think Canadians are thinking a lot more about shopping locally and supporting the smaller businesses on main street in their communities," Diane Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, said. 

Due to financial uncertainty 55 per cent of those asked said they plan to spend less this holiday season because of the pandemic.

Canadian are planning to spend about $693 over the holiday season compared to $792 last year. 

“There are a lot of Canadians who are not sure what 2021 will bring so we are seeing two things,” Brisebois said.

“Tightening of their wallets and paying down debt." 

The survey also found as many Canadians stay close to home for the holidays they expect to spend the most on food and alcohol. 

For those looking to shop online, Samantha Gordon at Consumer Reports says expect to see items on sale early and often instead of on one or two big sale days.

“Retailers are really pushing a lot of their holiday sales to online rather than in store this season. This is to keep the crowds down and to keep shoppers safe because of the pandemic," Gordon said.

The survey found 74 per cent of holiday budgets will be spent on others, while 26 per cent will be spent on themselves. 

This is a trend called “self-gifting,” as some who are staying home instead of visiting family or putting off trips to sunny destinations plan to use money they would have spent on travel to buy gifts for themselves. 

“While there may not be gatherings, they're starting to feel they want to buy gifts for themselves and for their loved ones to make themselves feel better," said Brisebois. 

With so many people shopping online a quarter of Canadians say they have already started making holiday purchases because of concerns over possible shipping delays. 

Boxing Day used to be one of the most major shopping days of the year for many Canadians, but this year the most popular shopping day is expected to be Black Friday, which is on November 27th.