Canadian consumers confident but cautious
About two minutes after I filed a story about how Canadian consumers are increasingly looking to the internet for home décor inspiration and to buy home furnishing and accessories, I got a press release from IBM that further bolsters that notion. According to a recent global survey by the tech giant, the number of “instrumented” consumers – those who use two or more technologies such as a website, mobile device or in-store kiosk — increased by 65 per cent in 2010 over the previous year. That’s almost double the global result, which saw a 36 per cent jump.
The change is happening so rapidly that Canadian retailers may have to play catch up, suggested John Dawkins, IBM’s Canadian retail sector lead, in the release. “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,” he says.
The study paints a picture of the average Canadian shopper: she’s frugal but confident about her earning power, carefully considers the opinions of family and friends, and is often responsible for shopping for other family members ( No surprise to mothers everywhere, used to hearing things like “Mom, I’m out of socks. Can you get me some?”)
The survey showed that the recession has changed shopping habits; consumers are now more focused on buying only what they need, searching for sale items, waiting longer to purchase and using technology to save time and shop more efficiently.
Other findings include:
Shoppers are increasingly using social media to discuss retailers, products and brands with friends, family members and other consumers.
Consumers want to check competitive prices in store, using smart phones and UPC tags.
Consumers 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. (Gheesh, could I write a response to that one! Maybe I will, next time I'm in the mood for a retail rant!))
What about you? How has technology changed the way you shop?