What Wealthy Canadian Shoppers Want (Statistics) ©

Who wouldn’t love to have wealthy Canadians visiting our online business and spending without care? What it takes to attract them, let alone make them buy, may surprise you. They can be a very tricky target market to serve.

The biggest misconception about the wealthy is they love to spend copious amounts of money just because they can. In reality, many of these consumers have money because their purchases are value-driven. They can afford to pay for quality, but they still want a good price. They’re also happy to drop by WalMart if they can get a good deal on a quality product.

Ipsos Reid recently conducted a study of 175 wealthy Canadians with $1 million or more in assets. This Affluent Canadians Study reported some surprising results, including the primary factor in brand choice. “Good value for the price” was the clear winner in most product categories, from clothing to alcohol.

Top Factors in the Choice of Where Affluent Canadians ShopWealthy Canadian Shoppers

  1. High quality products: 94% (39% said it’s very important, 55% said it’s somewhat important)
  2. Price/budget: 88% (43% said it’s very important, 45% said it’s somewhat important)
  3. Availability of staff: 88% (33% said it’s very important, 55% said it’s somewhat important)
  4. Brand selection: 87% (25% said it’s very important, 62% said it’s somewhat important)
  5. Store layout and organization: 70% (15% said it’s very important, 55% said it’s somewhat important)
  6. Proactive customer service: 65% (21% said it’s very important, 44% said it’s somewhat important)
  7. Unique products: 59% (10% said it’s very important, 49% said it’s somewhat important)
  8. Availability of trendy/hot labels: 21% (3% said it’s very important, 18% said it’s somewhat important)
  9. Availability of designer labels: 19% (5% said it’s very important, 14% said it’s somewhat important)

These factors can easily translate into the online shopping experience. Even the store layout/organization can be translated into an easily navigated website. Proactive customer service could be something like live online customer service (such as WPMU Dev Chat for WordPress).

Top Major Retailer Choice of Affluent Canadians

  1. Walmart (72%)
  2. The Bay (70%)
  3. Sears (54%)

Experience is a Huge Factor in Some Choices

  • 82% of millionaires in Canada will choose a unique travel experience over the mundane.
  • 69% would rather have a special experience than buy something.
  • 47% will pay more for personalized or customized service.

Number three is a key factor to focus on to ensure you’re in with this crowd. It’s something everyone can accomplish with creativity, thought, and empathy.

“Experience” can also extend to ideals. Canadians with a lot of money on hand can base their buying choices on value, but also be willing to pay a little more for environmentally friendly products, organic products, items manufactured in Canada, etc.

Everybody Poops

I’ve always taught my Son if he is ever intimidated by someone’s status, he should remember one thing: everybody poops. 😉 So it should be with online or offline retail businesses. Wealthy Canadians still need everyday products and they still shop in the same stores as everyone else. Don’t be intimidated by stereotypical visions of how wealthy people live or shop.  Get to know them and become what they need you to be.

Online businesses should keep in mind that anyone could be using that keyboard, and recognizable people often prefer the anonymity of online shopping. That means we have a great chance of accessing and engaging affluent Canadians from across the country. They have the money to demand value with an excellent shopping experience, and they aren’t as concerned about the cost of shipping if their other desires are met.

Targeting this market doesn’t necessarily mean stocking high-end luxury products, it means providing them with a luxurious experience. It is within the reach of any online business to provide that for them.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessAre you targeting Canada’s wealthy in your marketing?  Please tell us about it in the comments below.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between December 6th and 14th, 2012.


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

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, 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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The rich are people too! 😉 We all want to be treated like we’re important and in retail, a lot of money makes people important. If they would treat everyone like they’re rich, they’d make more sales whether the person has lots of money or not.


Perhaps that’s how they become millionaires in the first place – they actually know how to save and only put their money on items with the best value for their dollar.


I have a comfortable amount of disposable income and I hate it when local stores assume I’ll just throw it around if they tell me it’s the latest thing. I don’t want for anything but I don’t over indulge myself either. I get more out of a donation to charity than spoiling myself. When I do shop I expect to be treated well and I do love something out of the ordinary. Yes it’s true, everybody poops! haha

Joanne Gibbons

Thanks for the insight. There’s also the “comfortable” to consider. People who live well but aren’t millionaires can be worth a lot of money to online stores too.


Amen to that! My parents were millionaires but they were NEVER frivolous! They didn’t live like paupers but they always shopped around and had plenty of generic items in their cupboard.

Lenny Calgary

The problem is people watch too much TV ;-).
The rich can afford to pamper themselves and if they want something expensive they don’t have to deny themselves. That doesn’t mean they just go out and buy whatever they want on a whim. Most I’ve served are very frugal and you’re right — they love a good deal just like everyone else. 😀
Excellent data analysis, thank you. 🙂