The biggest retail season of the year is almost upon us, and Canadians are set to make the most of it — in large part from the comfort of their computer-equipped homes.
Canada Post expects to ferry some 20 percent more parcels whose purchases originated on the Internet this November and December. And, say studies conducted by Canada Post internally, one million Canadian households started shopping online in the past eight months. And almost half of them purchased at least three on-line items in just the past three months.
More than that, says an online poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted by Solutions Research Group in August, two-thirds had made an online purchase in the past month — 10 percent more than last year. Almost half of them were in the 30-to-49-year-old age range, and 40 percent were from Ontario.
And where 38 percent said they didn’t plan to shop online at all this holiday season, just 33 percent made the same claim this year. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Indigo and Best Buy topped the retail destination list.
Initially reluctant to embrace the digital shopping age, Canadians, says a new predictive study out of Forrester Research, have expressed a fresh interest in making their holiday purchases online.
Where only six percent of overall retail sales are made online in this country currently (versus nine percent in the States), Forrester envisions the gap closing up. Within five years, says the market research firm, Canadians will be conducting 10 percent of their shopping on the Internet (and the Americans will be doing 11 percent).
Still, a full 25 percent of Canadian shoppers say they won’t buy a thing from an online retailer over the next couple of months, and 29 percent predict splitting their holiday bucks between online and in-store.
Retailers — whether online or in-store — take note: holiday shopping time is the biggie, so best to position yourself such that you might cater to both the reluctant and the progressive shopper.