Greenhouse Canada

Canadian consumers embracing mobile retail

March 8, 2011  By Amanda Ryder

March 8, 2011 – An annual IBM global survey of 30,000 consumers in 13 countries, reveals that Canadians are adopting new shopping
technologies faster than most. 

March 8, 2011 – An annual IBM global survey of 30,000 consumers in 13 countries, including more than
2,000 Canadians, reveals shoppers here are adopting new shopping
technologies faster than most. In fact, the number of Canadians willing
to use mobile technologies to shop increased by 160 per cent
year-to-year, second only to the US in uptake.

The survey also shows the number of Canadian "instrumented" consumers —
who use two or more technologies such as a website, mobile device or
in-store kiosk — increased by 65 per cent over last year's results,
almost double the global result, which reported a 36 per cent increase


"It would appear Canadians' conservative attitude toward adopting new
consumer technologies is changing rapidly to the point that consumers
are ahead of retailers," says John Dawkins, IBM's Canadian retail
sector lead.  "Wider access to bandwidth at lower rates, an increase in
the number of Canadian wireless service providers, adoption of social
media and a comparatively faster economic recovery are driving the
emergence of a more complex, competitive and sophisticated shopper."

The study reveals a portrait of the quintessential Canadian shopper:
female; frugal but optimistic about her income; influenced more by
family and friends' opinions than retailers; and who regularly shops
for more than people in her household such as parents or grandchildren.

The survey polled consumers from a dozen other countries, including both
mature and emerging markets and show globally, shoppers have adopted
attitudes during the recession that continue to dictate their behavior:
 they buy what they need, search for items on sale and wait longer to
purchase; and they have embraced the use of technology throughout the
process to save time and enhance the experience.

Other findings include:

  • Shoppers are leveraging social media from Facebook to Twitter, to blogs,
    YouTube and reviews, more than ever before to discuss retailers,
    products and brands with friends, family members and strangers.
  • Consumers are checking prices in store, where 70 per cent of final
    product  selection happens, using smart phones and UPC tags to check
    competitive offerings.
  • Consumers want a personalized shopping experience and will spend more
    and be more loyal to retailers who offer them quality, service and
    promotions on items they regularly buy and remember things such as
    their preferred payment methods.
  • Consumers want to shop seamlessly across channels, check product prices
    wherever they are, get promotions based on the items they scan, and use
    a personal mobile device to avoid the checkout lane.  

"A new approach to customer intimacy is critical in the new economic
environment and this necessitates a stronger commitment than ever
before. Organizations that are best at extracting previously
undiscovered insights from vast amounts of customer information have a
huge advantage in deepening existing connections and creating new
relationships," said Diane Brisebois, president and CEO of the Retail
Council of Canada.

The IBM survey of 30,624 consumers was conducted in October 2010 in
Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France,
Germany, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States.

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