The Canadian portion of the Total Retail: Global Survey of Online Shoppers report provides valuable insight about online shopping in Canada. Probably the most important take-away for marketers is in regards to Personalization VS Privacy. Canadians love the idea of personalization, a fact that has been demonstrated by other studies as well. However, we aren’t willing to give up too much privacy.

“The Canadian consumer is increasingly enjoying the personalization and interaction of loyalty programs and social media interaction,” the report observes, “but continues to be wary of potential threats to their privacy that sharing data could bring.”

Canadian Consumer Statistics

  • 60% of Canadian consumers shop at a store because they like the loyalty program.
  • 37% of Canadians improved their opinion of their favourite brands due to social media interaction.
  • 19% of online Canadians visited a brand’s social media page due to an email or text message, up from 10% the previous year.
  • 27% entered a contest or competition on a brand’s social media page, up from 23% the previous year.
  • 52% of Canadians who don’t shop online said they refrain from doing so due to concern about the security of their personal data, up from 42% the previous year. That’s 9% higher than the global average.

Please click the Infographic to enlarge.

Personalization VS Privacy for Canadian Consumers (Infographic)

It’s important that Canadian marketers focus on carefully balancing the preferences of consumers. At this point, that means providing the most personalization with the least amount of personal data.

We can tempt Canadians to reveal more about themselves if we offer something in return, such as loyalty programs, custom coupons, social media contests or free stuff.  Freebies may be a download, like an eBook or special report.  The most popular, however, is something tangible.  There used to be freebies all over the Internet but many companies have stopped the practice due to overwhelming response.  However, if your target market is only in Canada and you choose something that is inexpensive to purchase and ship, you can seriously grow your database of leads and consumer data.  Branding that freebie will serve double duty.  Some feasible freebies to consider are calendars in December/January, magnets, and memory sticks.  Anything that can be shipped at envelope rates may be affordable for you.

You can increase the chance of Canadians sharing their information with you if you’re open and honest about how the data will (and will not) be used. Additionally, giving the consumer the choice of opting in or out of information sharing empowers them, and ultimately increases their level of trust in your organization.

If we follow traditional Internet trends in this country, Canadian consumers will begin to entrust more companies with their information as they become accustomed to doing so. Giving them a nudge with benefits has thus far been the most effective method of convincing them to at least share the basics. As they come to expect a personalized and omni-channel experience, they will realize the only way to have it is to give businesses something to base that personalization on.


Total Retail: Canadian Customer Expectations Driving the Next Retail Business Model
Stores (Free Retail Trade Magazine)
Top 5 Consumer-Driven Trends in Retail free whitepaper

How have you tried to collect consumer data? Please share your experience in the comments below.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Canadian Online Shopping and Digital Demands (2013 Statistics)
Canadians Spending More Online Than Ever (Stat’s & Infographic)
Canadians Love Small Businesses, Gen Y Wants E-commerce (Statistics)
Overcome the Big 5 Challenges Facing Email Marketers in 2014


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Chase Morehouse

What a lot of people don’t realize is their info is input into computers whether they like it or not even when they shop in stores. It’s been like that for many years. Time to relax and go with it.


Just when I start to trust businesses with my info another one gets hacked and I run and hide LOL.

Sheldon Lewis

Great tips! Canadians will come around, they always do. They just take their sweet time about it. 🙂