Approximately 85% of adult (18+) Canadians are now online, making it a huge target market for brands and businesses.  ExactTarget has released a report summarizing how online consumers in this country interact with brands online, based on a survey of 1382 Canadians.  The Digital North report, resulting from research conducted in March, 2013, is part of their Subscribers, Fans and Followers research series.

The Digital North report highlights the unique behaviour of Canadian consumers who use digital channels, which facilitates a more effective marketing strategy.  The survey data presented is intended to provide marketers with information about the behaviour of online Canadians, so they can more effectively leverage online communication channels to engage them.   

The habits and age demographics included in this report provide key details for marketers.  Tailoring your message so it attracts a specific group is straightforward enough, but knowing where, when and how your target market is utilizing the Internet allows for a more focused strategy.

Favourite Online Channels for Brand Interaction in Canada

According to the report, eMail, Facebook and Twitter are the current channel favourites in Canada, and we’re keeping up with our favorite brands through these channels.

  • 93% of online Canadian consumers have subscribed to a brand email list.
  • 61% of Canadian Facebook users have “liked” at least one brand page.
  • 13% of Canadian Twitter users have followed a brand.

Favourite Online Channels for brand interaction by Age Group:

  • Consumers 18-24 prefer eMail (90%), Facebook (75%), and Twitter (24%)
  • Consumers 25-34 prefer eMail (93%), Facebook (76%), and Twitter (19%)
  • Consumers 35-44 prefer eMail (95%), Facebook (74%), and Twitter (19%)
  • Consumers 45-54 prefer eMail (94%), Facebook (50%), and Twitter (9%)
  • Consumers 55-64 prefer eMail (95%), Facebook (51%), and Twitter (5%)
  • Consumers 65+ prefer eMail (90%), Facebook (33%), and Twitter (2%)

Email Activity in CanadaCanadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses

It’s clear that Canadians still prefer opt-in eMail for business contact.  Businesses have been moving away from the traditional newsletter (if they ever had one at all), instead relying on blogging/RSS and social media.  This is a critical error in judgement that is surely resulting in a loss of sales.  However, it is more difficult to get the consumer to sign up for a mailing list and the challenge to keep them is ongoing.

  • 89% of online Canadians check their email a minimum of once each day
  • 44% have made a purchase as a direct result of receiving a marketing message via eMail
  • 65% of Canadian SmartPhone users say they use it to check their eMail a minimum of once per day

Top Reasons Canadians Subscribe to Brand Emails:

  1. 63% subscribe for discounts
  2. 58% subscribe to receive a freebie or enter a contest
  3. 48% want to know about the latest products and services
  4. 39% want to receive advanced notice of new products or future releases
  5. 36% sign up because they deal with the company or brand regularly
  6. 34% hand over their eMail address to access exclusive content
  7. 32% want to receive content about their personal interests
  8. 18% want to receive company news
  9. 15% prefer eMail as a way to “keep my finger on the pulse” of the brand/company
  10. 13% subscribed because someone recommended they do so
  11. 10% want others to know they support the company
  12. 6% want to be affiliated with the product or brand because it’s trendy

Social Media Purchasing Activity in Canada

The majority of businesses use a social media tool (like Canada’s HootSuite) for posting.  I prefer to post to each social network individually because I’ve noticed the difference in the types of followers for each.  Some of those differences are defined in this report.

In my experience, Twitter is more business oriented, with the exception of the teenage demographic (teens appear to be moving away from Facebook and towards Twitter).  It’s important to remember all social networks attract different types of people, however, so don’t get too bogged down in Canadian social media statistics.  For example, my 19 year old son casually uses several social networks like most teenagers, but his current favourite is Reddit and he doesn’t care for Twitter at all.

Canadian Facebook Purchasing

  • 24% aged 25-34 purchased because of a message received on Facebook
  • 21% of online Canadian consumers aged 18-24 bought something because of a Facebook message
  • 8% aged 45+ made a purchase due to a message on Facebook

Top Reasons Canadians “Like” a Brand/Business Facebook Page:

  1. 58% are after freebies or contest prizes
  2. 53% “like” pages for discounts
  3. 34% want to be kept informed about products and services
  4. 30% deal with the company or brand regularly
  5. 30% want others to know they support the company
  6. 30% want access exclusive content
  7. 28% want to receive advanced notice of new products or future releases
  8. 25% want to receive content about their personal interests
  9. 20% watch for alerts related to internal developments
  10. 16% “Like” because someone recommended they do so
  11. 14% use Facebook as a way to “keep my finger on the pulse” of the brand/company
  12. 11% want to be affiliated with the product or brand because it’s trendy

Canadian Twitter PurchasingCanadian Online Behaviour for Businesses

  • 11% aged 18-24 purchased because of a message received on Twitter
  • 11% aged 25-34 made a purchase due to a message on Twitter
  • 5% of online Canadian consumers bought something because of a Twitter message
  • 0% aged 65+ purchased due to a message on Twitter

Top Reasons Canadians Follow a Brand/Business on Twitter

  1. 47% want to be kept informed about products and services
  2. 44% want access exclusive content
  3. 40% follow pages for discounts
  4. 37% want to receive advanced notice of new products or future releases
  5. 35% are after freebies or contest prizes
  6. 30% watch for alerts related to internal developments
  7. 27% use Twitter as a way to “keep my finger on the pulse” of the brand/company
  8. 27% want to receive content about their personal interests
  9. 26% want others to know they support the company
  10. 23% deal with the company or brand regularly
  11. 21% want to be affiliated with the product or brand because it’s trendy
  12. 15% follow because someone recommended they do so

Canadians’ Favourite Device for Internet Access

  • 66% of Canadians still show a preference for sitting down at our home computers at the start of the day.
  • 19% use a mobile phone
  • 5% use a tablet
  • 5% wait until they get to work or school to access the Internet

Canadian Consumer Online Behaviour by the Hour

The digital day in Canada starts as follows:

  • 71% check their eMail
  • 13% check Facebook
  • 6% visit a news site
  • 4% go to “other” websites
  • 2% check Twitter
  • 2% go to an entertainment site
  • 1% check Google+
  • 1% go to a search engine or portal
  • 1% check their company website

By evening, we’re ready to relax at bit, but many still need that eMail fix:

  • 48% check their eMail
  • 23% check Facebook
  • 8% visit a news site
  • 7% go to an entertainment site
  • 4% go to a search engine or portal
  • 4% go to “other” websites
  • 3% check Twitter
  • 2% check Google+
  • 1% check their company website

I’ve noticed a considerable uptick in traffic from image-sharing social networks in the evenings and on the weekend, especially Pinterest.  Canadians love their online social activities, but it appears we know how to control the time spent on them when we must.

Do these statistics reflect what you’ve experienced?  Please share your comments and tips below.

Source:
ExactTarget

You may also be interested in reading:

10 Ways to Reduce Newsletter Unsubscribe Rates
Canadian Business Technology, Internet and eCommerce Statistics
Canadian Online Retail (eCommerce) Statistics & Tips
2013 Online Shopper Statistics Reveal Issues with Canada’s E-Retailers

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5 Responses to "Canadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses (Statistics) ©"

  1. Cory Gunther  July 24, 2013

    I always know it’s a good article if reading it makes me tweak my marketing strategies. This information has me tweaking a bit of all them. I visited this site because I’m tired of trying to base my stratgies on american info. I stayed because you do such a smashing job…especially with only one writer (from what I can see). Melody (is that her real name?) is a credit to this site. Hats off!

    Reply
  2. Conner  July 23, 2013

    If it truly represents the majority it’s useful. You just never know for sure with statistics.

    Reply
  3. Derek: Kelowna, BC  June 29, 2013

    I’m reading through your posts here and I was impressed until now….now I’m amazed! REally good work for Canadians. This one must have taken you forever to write up and I know everyone appreciates it.

    Reply
  4. Brandon Wan  June 25, 2013

    THAT’S the important stuff. User statistics are good to know but the really useful information is about purchasing. Canadians behave differently and I hope more research is done. Thank you for another exceptional post.

    Reply
  5. Sonia L  June 24, 2013

    LOVING the details! Thanks for sharing your keen insights with other Canadian marketing professionals.

    Reply

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