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Canadians spending less online: poll


November 20, 2008
By Ipsos-Reid

Nov. 20, 2008 – Ipsos Reid’s long standing Interactive Reid study has found that year
over year online spending dropped 13 per cent among online Canadians in
2008's third quarter. The study, which tracks consumer activities on
the Internet, also
found spending from the second quarter to third quarter had dropped by
15 per cent.

Ipsos Reid’s long standing Interactive Reid study has found that year
over year online spending dropped 13 per cent among online Canadians in
2008's third quarter. The study, which tracks consumer activities on
the Internet, also
found spending from the second quarter to third quarter had dropped by
15 per cent.

In quarter three, 2007, Canadian online purchasers reported spending an average
of $727 over the past year. This figure is down this quarter to $641, a
decline of 13 per cent. The actual dollar amount spent is at its lowest
recorded level since 2003. Yet another indicator of the downturn in the
economy is that median spending online is also down this quarter, at
$249 on average for the past three months. This is 15 per cent lower than the
same time last year. Study author Mark Laver noted, “While we actually
noticed the decline in online spending occur in the second quarter of
this year, the year over year figures confirms that online Canadians
have significantly reduced their discretionary spending on the
Internet.”

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Not surprisingly then, the number of online purchases made by
Canadians has also declined correspondingly. The average number of
online purchases over the past year was 6.7, compared to an average of
8.4 one year ago, a decline of 20 per cent.

Laver continued, “The third quarter is typically when we start
to see an increase in consumer spending each year with the approaching
holiday season and the fact that consumers typically have more
disposable income in the second half of the year, with the elimination
of EI and CPP. Ultimately, this data points to a challenging
environment for retailers—online and offline—in the upcoming holiday
shopping season. Online Canadians not only use the Internet to shop,
but also use it as a comparison shopping tool. With a recessionary
mindset prevalent many Canadians may search around for the best deal
for their holiday shopping.”


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