The fact that Canadians are shopping online isn’t news, but details are scarce. The more insight we can gain regarding how and why Canadians shop online, the better we can serve them and ultimately gain their business.
Statistics from the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) 2015 Total Global Retail Consumer Survey, indicate Canadians embraced online shopping in a big way in 2014. 54% bought something online at least once per month, and 78% of online shoppers in Canada have been doing so for at least three years.
PWC asked 1000 Canadians why they buy products online instead of going to a store offline. While finding a bargain continues to be the top reason, convenience is close behind. Convenience, along with every single other reason given for shopping online, are levels any store can compete on. In fact, “price” as a reason to shop the Internet is actually dropping statistically, while all but one of the other reasons for shopping online have increased or stayed the same. That means a common reason Canadian businesses have for not adopting eCommerce: “we can’t compete with American and chain store prices”, is no longer a valid excuse. Following are a dozen ways you CAN compete… and triumph!
Top 13 Reasons Canadians Shop Online
- Lower prices online 53% (down from 55% in 2013)
- Online stores are open all day, every day 43% (up from 39% in 2013)
- Don’t have to go to a store 38%
- There are some products online that aren’t available to me in stores 37% (down from 38%)
- More variety online 28% (up from 24%)
- Product comparison and research is easier online 26% (same in 2013)
- Seeking a specific brand or product 25% (up from 22%)
- Customer reviews are readily available online 14% (up from 12%)
- Received an promotional eMail or text message (such as a coupon) 9% (up from 8%)
- More product information available 9% (up from 7%)
- Product return options 3% (up from 1%)
- Social Media (following a brand, commenting, etc.) 3% (up from 1%)
- Other reasons 4% (same in 2013)
Combine that with standard customer pleasers like excellent customer service and you’ll find the more you do online, the better your bottom line will do.
Online shopping hasn’t really replaced store shopping at a significant level because Canadian consumers have very good reasons for doing that as well. They like to be able to physically experience the product, make sure items fit, easily return purchases, and take the item home immediately. It isn’t an either/or scenario as was once feared. It’s now a matter of doing both in many cases, and taking it even further with omni-channel features.
If you’re ready to embrace online business and eCommerce but need some guidance, check out the following articles:
Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business
Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website (Statistics)
10 Tips for Taking Product Photos That Sell Online
Canadian Stores Can Grab Global Online Shoppers (Statistics)
Test eCommerce Waters with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Canadian Omni-Channel Panel Shares Insights
Top 10 Online Business Books of 2014
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