Canadians wield smartphones in hunt for best Cyber-Monday deals

With the American Thanksgiving coming up Nov. 27, the accompanying consumer frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber-Monday are poised to kick off the holiday shopping season – and more shoppers than ever will be nabbing deals from their smartphones.

According to PayPal, it saw an increase of 99.2 per cent for consumers shopping on a mobile device during Black Friday in 2013. The payments volume increased by 121 per cent over the previous year.

Cyber Monday 2013 was no different, with a 93.6 per cent increase in shoppers on mobile devices and a 115.6 per cent increase in payment volume compared to the previous year.

In recent years, the “shopping event” on the last weekend of November has spilled over into the Canadian market too as the aggressive deals offered by US retailers has precipitated more cross-border shopping. In response, Canadian retailers have also organized their own deals to try and meet the demand.


But with quick access to American deals via online shopping, it’s even harder to convince Canadians to spend their money north of the border. Now, busy shoppers that are buying items from mobile devices might be even more likely to spend money with U.S. retailers, according to PayPal.

Spending by device - PayPal

Of all online shoppers, those that use tablets and smartphones to complete their shopping were most likely to make cross-border purchases. When asked by PayPal, Canadians that make cross-border purchases were most likely to do so with a desktop or laptop (84 per cent), then a smartphone (10 per cent) and a tablet (six per cent).

Shoppers that only plan to shop within Canada in the next 12 months are much less likely to be completing purchases with a mobile device.

Where a retailer is based isn’t really an important factor to those shopping on mobile devices, says Kerry Reynolds, head of consumer marketing at PayPal Canada. Instead, factors like convenience and shipping fees will win a purchase.

“When people are on the go, getting through those mobile flows is really important,” she says. “Anything that a retailer can do to smooth out that process is going to win that sale.”

Shipping seems to an important issue to Canadians shopping online, according to PayPal’s data. Especially for retailers based in Canada.

While 54 per cent of online shoppers said free shipping was a “must have” when domestic shopping, only 48 per cent said the same for cross-border shopping. Also, express delivery was a “must have” for 19 per cent with domestic shopping, but only 17 per cent for cross-border shopping.

“You see both sides of the border putting together different campaigns to ease the pain of sending out these shipments,” Reynolds says. “Offering free shipping can be a huge help against offers in the U.S.”

Retailers can’t ignore the mobile shopping trend, Reynolds says. She even encourages retailers to train clerks to help customer complete transactions from a mobile device while in a store.

That way, if inventory has already run out because of a great deal, there’s still a chance to make the purchase online.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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