Bargain Hunting Driving Canadian Online Shopping Traffic

Free Shipping Would Entice Canadians To Buy More Online

TORONTO –November 3, 2104 – Canadians are on the hunt and not afraid to go the extra mile or open a new tab on their browser to chase down a good deal when online shopping. According to the Ecommerce Channel Report – Canada, Fourth Edition, from leading global information company The NPD Group, 71 per cent of respondents attributed their online shopping habits to saving money.

Super Online Buyers, the largest source behind online sales and the most active mobile shoppers, make up 41 per cent of Canada’s Ecommerce users. This group of savvy online shoppers are particularly drawn to Ecommerce for the ease of ‘comparison shopping’ in-store via their smartphones, followed by saving money.

“Growth in the near future will come to those companies that put an emphasis on innovative ways to lower shipping costs, as well as enhance confidence in payment security,” said Sandy Silva, fashion industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Companies that can deliver free shipping, competitive prices, and a customized experience that meets the needs of various age demographics will be especially well-positioned to siphon customers from the competition.”

The NPD Group identified consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 as the most likely to seek bundled discounts online and less likely to choose in-store pick-up compared to their older counterparts. Those aged 55-plus noted security related to payment methods as their top concern regarding Ecommerce. They also sought clear delivery estimates and prefer products from Canadian websites. However, Canadians hesitate when it comes to checking out, with 50 per cent visiting another online store prior to placing their order to compare cost and delivery times. In addition, almost one in five of respondents (18 per cent) attributed not being able to find the product in stores as the second highest trigger for an online sale.

Canadians are keen on free shipping, seven out of ten respondents saying they would be encouraged to buy more if the online retailer offered free shipping. A similar number of consumers (70 per cent) reported that they shop online to save money, to comparison shop, and to compare products. Interestingly enough, the expectation that online prices were more affordable than in-store decreased from 2012, dropping six percent.

It’s important for brands and retailers to understand their customers and be able to customize their shopping experience:

  • Super Online Buyers are more likely to purchase American electronics online and are influenced by the lack of product availability in-store in Canada. They are more likely to have smartphones and use them to compare prices when shopping in-store. This group of shoppers trumps all other online customer groups but are also the most impatient – expecting their purchase to arrive six and ten days after purchase.
  • Price Driven Consumers attribute online shopping habits to simply saving money.
  • Convenience driven customers are influenced by the ease of shopping around and effortlessness of comparing products, features, and prices.

Overall Canadians appear loyal to Canadian retailers, 85 per cent reaffirming their loyalty to Canadian based-retailers with a strong desire to shop from Canadian websites that ship from Canada, only crossing the border when faced with a lack of product availability or lower prices.

“Access to retail websites has dramatically changed the way people approach buying products over the last year,” says Silva. “The majority of Canadian consumers will shop online well before they consider entering the physical store. This is vital for companies as this shift will need to remain top-of-mind when entering and planning for the New Year.”

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Kim McLynn


The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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