Aug 2 , 2010

Canadian men leading charge online for back-to-school shopping

TORONTO--This summer, 55 per cent of Canadian online shoppers will look to the internet for their back-to-school shopping preparations, with male respondents indicating that they will spend almost twice as much as their female counterparts online.

According to a July 2010 survey of online shoppers commissioned by Visa Canada for back-to-school, Canadian online shoppers plan to spend an average of $621 online and in-store between now and Labour Day, with seven per cent more than last year expecting to shop online. Books and clothing are a back-to-school shopper's most popular online purchases, with 37 per cent of respondents planning on purchasing these items. Other must-haves that will be purchased online include health and beauty products (26 per cent), travel (24 per cent) and computer/software-related purchases (23 per cent).

The survey revealed that consumers are turning online for better prices (48 per cent), convenience (40 per cent) and better sales and promotions (35 per cent). Additionally, more than 30 per cent of Canadian online shoppers between the ages of 18-34 will use blogs to research product reviews and price comparisons; older adults are the least likely to surf blogs and other online resources.

"As parents and students prepare to return to the classroom, many are powering up their PCs, laptops and smartphones in the search of back-to-school must-haves and deals rather than heading to their local shopping centre to take advantage of the convenience that online shopping offers," said Stephanie Wallat, Visa Canada. "Shoppers in the market for back-to-school deals should also visit for coupons and specials offer at merchants like Flight Centre, SoftMoc, HP and Lenovo."

Interesting variances also exist in how those Canadians polled across the country are preparing for back-to-school. Both Atlantic Canadians and Ontario residents plan to spend much more online ($164 and $134, respectively) than Quebec residents ($83) in the lead up to Labour Day. Canadians living in Ontario are also planning to shop online slightly more frequently than those in British Columbia and Alberta, which is in line with their higher planned online spend before Labour Day. Quebec residents are the most likely to purchase goods from a Canadian website (87 per cent). Online shoppers in British Columbia are more likely (36 per cent) than Atlantic and Quebec residents (21 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively) to shop on sites south of the border.

                                            Avg. Proportion  Avg. Proportion
            Avg. Estimated     Avg. No. of        of Online        of Online
              Online Spend Online Purchases    Purchases on     Purchases on
             Before Labour Expected Before         Canadian         American
                      Day       Labour Day         Websites         Websites
    Canada           $112              2.9              74%              26%
     Columbia         $98              1.9              64%              36%
    Alberta           $98              1.8              68%              32%
    Prairies          $91              2.8              72%              28%
    Ontario          $134              3.4              72%              28%
    Quebec            $83              3.1              87%              13%
    Atlantic         $164              2.2              79%              21%

Online layers of security

Canadian online shoppers looking to get ready for back-to-school can breathe easy knowing that they're protected through Visa's layered approach to security and fraud prevention, including Verified by Visa (VbV), Zero Liability and E-Promise.

"Together these provide an additional level of security for online shoppers using Visa cards so that they can shop online with confidence," said Wallat.

The Verified by Visa service is just one of Visa's multiple layers of security designed for the eCommerce channel. Free for consumers, the Verified by Visa program has been adopted by more than 378 million Visa cardholders and 430,000 merchants around the world, including Air Canada, WestJet, Via Rail, Best Buy, Future Shop, Dell, Telus, Cineplex, Tim Hortons, Aldo, Suzy Shier, Bluenotes, and La Senza in Canada. Another layer that helps protect merchants and Visa cardholders shopping online is the "three-digit code," or CVV2, which is the number printed on the signature panel on the back of a Visa card. It helps to prove to the merchant that the cardholder has the card in his or her possession when ordering online or over the phone.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks-VisaNet-that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products.



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