Greenhouse Canada

Canadian and U.S. shoppers differ

August 25, 2010  By Amanda Ryder

Aug. 25, 2010 – A groundbreaking national study reveals
considerable differences in shopping behaviours north and south of the

Aug. 25, 2010 – A groundbreaking national study reveals
considerable differences in shopping behaviours north and south of the

A Quadrant Marketing-TNS national study among 1,913 shoppers was
conducted in June. It spans Grocery, Mass and Drug retailers and drills
down into how Canadian shoppers make purchasing decisions in three
product categories (Food, Health & Beauty, and Household Products). The
study challenges assumptions that Canadian shoppers behave similarly to
our American counterparts. Some of the compelling findings include:

  • Canadians differ greatly in the way they prepare for their shopping
    trips. Over one-half of Canadians say they don't make a detailed list
    (57%) versus three-in-four U.S. shoppers (77%). This finding
    reinforces the notion that Canadians and Americans follow different
    paths-to-purchase, and present marketers with distinctive
    opportunities when it comes to influencing this journey.
  • The most important factor in choosing a retail location for U.S.
    shoppers is price (79%) whereas fewer Canadian shoppers look at price
    (55%) and take a more balanced perspective by also focusing some
    attention on aspects of the store experience such as convenience,
    store hours, assortment, and reward programs.
  • In-store activity has a stronger impact on Canadians as 48% are
    influenced by in-store displays versus only 20% of U.S. shoppers.

"In the absence of specific insights about Canadians, marketers often
try to leverage U.S. shopper research," says Molly Spinak, president of
Quadrant Marketing. "There are vast differences between Canadian and
U.S. ethnographic and retailer landscapes. What works in the U.S.
doesn't necessarily work in Canada. The research shows that we Canadians
need to be engaged both by brands and by channel in our own unique ways.
Even within Canada, Quebec consumers shop differently than those in
other provinces. Now we can give our clients fact-based insights and a
competitive edge. Point-of-purchase is an important battleground for
brands today, so we took on this first-of-a-kind Canadian study as a way
to help our clients with spending their dollars more effectively."

Mary Georgio, the director of shopper marketing at Quadrant says, "Armed
with our study's insights, we can build targeted programs for brands by
channel and category. This study unlocks the keys to what motivates
consumers before they get into the store and while in-store – and it's
very different. We also uncovered some very significant information
around the role of social media."

TNS is a global leader in shopper marketing research and in
understanding the impact of social media. Kerry Gilfillan, a vice
president with the company says:  "You really need to understand the
entire complex of influences on the path-to-purchase, including social
media.  The latter can have a tremendous impact on a brand's strategies
and, like everything else in the retail space, the level of influence
varies by sector and channel."

"Canadian Shoppers Exposed is only one part of
our totally integrated approach to shopper marketing," continued Georgio
at Quadrant. "We understand the complexity of the retailer environment,
as well as our clients' unique internal dynamics. We work with our
partner TNS to develop custom solutions so our clients can apply the
analysis to specific programs for individual retailers."

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