Canada A Promising Market For Retailers, Study Says

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Eighty-three percent of Canadians conduct a search online before buying in-store.

That finding is part of "Multichannel Retailing: Canadian Style," a study that highlights how Canadians conduct product searches online, thus opening the doors for retailers.

"One of the biggest challenges, of course [when entering the Canadian market], has been the lack of consumer market intelligence north of the border and difficulties in cross-border shipping logistics," said Paulina Sazon, marketing manager for Canada Post.

J.C. Williams Group, Chicago and Toronto, conducted the study for Canada Post, HP Canada and Visa Canada. It was based on responses from the 2,000 online and non-online Canadian shoppers surveyed in the week of April 10.

The study found that Canadian online shoppers are getting and using catalogs, with a 14 percent increase in the catalogs they received from 2004 to 2005. Also, more than one out of seven Canadians bought in-store after receiving a catalog. Frequent catalog recipients had the highest level of online spending.

Canadian shopping habits resemble those of U.S. shoppers, the report said. Marketers therefore may not have to modify by much their strategies for this market.

Survey respondents spent an average $400 online in the past six months. Eighty percent made two or more purchases online.

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