PayPal: Canadian mobile spending to exceed $2.5 billion during the holidays

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The back-to-back deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday recently hit Canada, offering consumers discounts on all kinds of products. With these sales also comes the start of peak holiday shopping season, during which, according to new research from Angus Reid, commissioned by PayPal, Canadians are estimated to spend more than $2.5 billion on mobile purchases.

As well, PayPal says that more than 35 percent of its total third-quarter transactions were originated on a mobile device — a number expected to increase during the holidays.

Consumers in Atlantic Canada seemed to prefer shopping on mobile devices the most. Four out of five Canadians said they’d rather use mobile devices.

Specifically, the survey finds that Canadians plan to use their phones to purchase more than $200 on holiday gifts, compared to $275 intended for physical purchases. from purchasing directly from their mobile device which is fairly close to the $275 which they plan to spend on buying gifts from a physical retail store. Altogether, 62 percent of respondents said they would use their mobile device to find and compare prices and 60 percent said they would do so to help with researching products first.

Notably, social media advertisements seem to be contributing significantly in swaying Canadians. According to survey data, one-fourth of Canadians who own mobile devices said they plan to purchase a gift directly through an advertisement they see on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“At PayPal, we’ve witnessed the retail experience transform in the last few years with mobile devices defining how people shop for gifts and experiences, especially over the holidays,” said Malini Mitra, consumer initiatives lead, PayPal Canada, in a press statement. “To compete for year-end sales, retailers should offer seamless mobile shopping experiences with an aggressive social media promotion strategy.”

Demographically, consumers living in Atlantic Canada seemed to prefer shopping on mobile devices the most. The survey says that four out of five Canadians in the Atlantic provinces said they’d rather use mobile devices to make purchases because of the flexibility and ability to avoid busy retail stores.

In terms of specific provinces:

  • 31 percent of Manitobans and Saskatchewanians said they plan to purchase clothing, shoes, and accessories with their mobile device
  • 25 percent of Ontarians will buy the latest gadgets and devices
  • 21 percent of Quebecers said they plan to purchase event or movie tickets from their mobile devices
    13 percent of Albertans said they will buy sports apparel and equipment with mobile
  • As a whole, nearly 30 percent of Canadian shoppers said they would use their phones to make purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, specifically citing products like clothing, shoes and accessories, followed by tech gadgets and devices.

Finally, research found that 51 percent of mobile shoppers would be more likely to use a mobile device to shop if there were special coupons or promotions being offered and 41 percent said they would do so if their financial information was safe.

To conduct the survey, Angus Reid polled 1,544 Canadians aged 18 and over (including 1,044 mobile shoppers) between the dates of October 13th to 18th, 2017.

Bradly Shankar

Bradly Shankar

Fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University.