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Drew Green

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2013 Trends in Canadian Shopping Behaviour

Posted: 03/25/2013 12:03 pm

In 2013 more consumers than ever before shifted their retail spending online. Not surprisingly, this coincided with a groundswell of interest and innovation occurring for ecommerce transactions in Canada. Canadian retailers are trying to reach out to the online Canadian consumer and get them spending their money in the Canadian economy.

This tipping point in the adoption of ecommerce by the Canadian public, going back into late 2012, was most noticeable when, this past year for the first time, many Canadian retailers embraced the popular shopping holidays "Black Friday" and its newly-minted eCommerce counterpart, "Cyber Monday," which is solely for online deals. In fact for the first time ever, we saw greater sales in that period than in the more traditional Canadian Boxing Day period. Why is this relevant? Black Friday has been an American tradition associated with U.S. thanksgiving, but Canadians, sick of missing out on the shopping deals have more recently adopted this shopping holiday. This has also been a way for retailers to keep Canadian dollars north of the border.

Canadians love to shop online and spend as much per capita online as U.S. consumers. There is often a lack of awareness around Canadian sites, which is causing Canadians to currently spend two thirds of their money south of the border on U.S retail websites. Canadian companies are catching on to this and are finding ways to incentivize the consumer and encourage more online shopping within the country. This is important to sustain the Canadian economy and a trend that I think we'll see increasing throughout 2013.

Meanwhile, the pace of retail change and expansion in 2013 has increased, highlighting another key trend in Canadian shopping behaviour. For example, think about American retail giant, Target. When word initially broke of Target's plans to launch in Canada, it was BIG news, making steady headlines as Canadians braced for the first of many launches in 2013 and beyond.

Canadian economists asked the question: "what does this mean for consumers and businesses in Canada?" Target is the first of several major American retail chains with an eCommerce presence that has announced Canadian launch plans. As a result, domestic retailers are responding with better products and better prices while focusing on selection and innovation. I believe this will motivate the market and encourage local and national retailers to make their products available online through their websites or ecommerce marketplaces.

The shift to mobile and social commerce is a major trend for 2013 as well. An interesting fact is that Canadian's are number one in the world in terms of social media consumption. Consumers love engaging with their favorite brands on social media platforms, making their online shopping experience more interactive and more akin to an in-store experience.

These major trends in Canadian ecommerce are indicative of a changing landscape for the Canadian consumer. With Canadians consuming more online, the Canadian landscape will have to keep up in terms of availability of products online. It's important for the health our economy to keep it in the country and promote Canadian-owned businesses online and offline. After all, we are proud to be Canadian.

Do you find your online shopping has increased? Do you try to shop Canadian?

 
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