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Study Shows Canadians Love to Shop via Their Mobile Phones

February 19, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

It should come as no surprise that mobile commerce is on the rise, but it is growing at a rate that not many predicted.  A study involving PayPal and Ipsos has shown that Canadians are increasingly shopping, purchasing and paying with their smartphones – in 2013 they spent $3.45 billion with a growth rate projected at 142-percent from 2013 to 2016.  Alexander Peh, head of mobile and market development at PayPal Canada, “We are at the dawn of a mobile-first era.  At PayPal, we’ve seen our mobile growth rise from less than one per cent of our payment volume in 2010 to more than 20 per cent in 2014.”

In Canada, a fifth, or 19-percent, of online shoppers report that they have made a purchase in the past 12 months via their smartphone and another 15-percent made a purchase this past year via their internet connected tablet.  The usual driving force in technology, the Millennials or Generation Y, are spearheading the wireless buying spree as 52-percent of smartphone shoppers are 18-34 years old, even though they only make up 31-percent of the total online shoppers.

Retailers need to change their thinking when it comes to attracting mobile customers, as we break away from the PC and start shopping with our smartphones.  Lauren Reimer, Vice President Online Merchandising and Marketing, Indigo Books & Music Inc., “We strive to make our Indigo mobile app and mobile friendly online store a fantastic shopping experience for our customers.  Mobile is a critical component of Indigo’s strategy and we’re constantly looking at ways to continue to innovate and add value through this platform.”

Canadians definitely prefer using PayPal as their digital wallet – 42-percent choose PayPal, with the next choice coming in at a distant 25-percent.  The survey also shows that globally 64-percent of customers prefer to make their online purchases through an app and 52-percent via a mobile browser at a website.  When it comes to Canadians, nearly half the shoppers prefer to use an app and only 14-percent prefer using their browser.  Why do shoppers like to make purchases online – it is convenient (27-percent) and fast (25-percent) – pure and simple.

Smartphone owners said that before they increase online purchases via their smartphones, they want a better shopping experience – from researching products to the ordering process to making the payment.  About 17-percent use their smartphone for research and then make the actual purchase at the store.  14-percent order their food or coffee ahead using an app or browser, 11-percent scan a barcode or QR code and 10-percent will tap their smartphone at a register to pay for their purchase.

Canadian’s claim that they haven’t made the switch from their PC or laptop because they really see no advantages to using their smartphone, as well as citing security reasons, although studies have shown that shoppers are more likely to have information stolen from using their credit card at the retailer’s store.  Peh said, “With low cost smartphones with larger screen sizes entering the market along with improvements to mobile device security, the entry barriers to mobile commerce will decrease.  Those improvements combined with safer and simpler mobile checkout solutions from PayPal will make it easier and more intuitive for people to pay with their mobile phone.”

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