According to the Shopbot, there is a lack of information in the media when it comes to Canadian consumer trends during Black Friday as opposed to American trends. For more than 10 years, Shopbot has been analysing Canadian shopping behaviour from location to age to gender and interest.
The rise in popularity of Black Friday in Canada has been soaring over the years. Google Trends shows how each year the interest in ‘Black Friday’ topples the last year almost flawlessly over the past 10 years. The trend in total retail sales accompanies the same trend. Canadian total retail sales in 2014 rose by 0.4% in November in comparison to 2013 according to Statistics Canada data, despite forecasters’ predictions. On the other hand, our Southern neighbours have suffered from a 12% plummet in retail sales according to the American National Retail Federation. 2015’s outlook for Black Friday in Canada seems to follow the same trend of 2014. Shoppers are not backing away from their shopping impulses. This is reflected with Shopbot’s traffic showing the same growing trend. Each Black Friday yearly spike in traffic surpasses the preceding year where millions of Canadians come to Shopbot to compare prices.
During shopping peaks, the retail market receives a boost in online traffic. However, online traffic doesn’t only flux to stores themselves but also towards the tools that guides shoppers to make well-informed purchases. As Canada’s leader in price comparison, Shopbot experiences exponential increase when it comes to traffic on Black Friday. And Shopbot is not alone. According to SimilarWeb stats, websites such as smartcanucks.ca, redflagdeals.com or bargainmoose.ca are just a few that also experience a significant boost in traffic because of shoppers demand for transparency on one of the most dangerous periods for price fraud.
Canada is truly diverse, even on Black Friday
There is a certain lack of information in the media when it comes to Canadian consumer trends during Black Friday as opposed to American trends. For more than 10 years, Shopbot has been analysing Canadian shopping behaviour from location to age to gender and interest. Shopbot’s data from the past Black Friday events reveals certain differences when it comes to shopping behaviour per province. According to Shopbot, the top 5 provinces that shop the most during Black Friday are:
Overall, the ‘electronic frenzy’ is seen nationwide whether it’s smartphones, smart TVs, latest action cameras or the most beloved android or apple tablets; Canada loves its gadgets. However, it becomes more interesting when it comes to Quebec where,
Quebec’s Black Friday or also known as ‘Vendredi Noir’ has shown the most significant jump in popularity with a 22% increase in Quebec traffic on Shopbot from 2012 to 2014
Shopbot predicts this trend is to continue in 2015 in the whole retail sector. Plus, it comes to no surprise that Quebec’s most popular product search is also in electronic category with ‘Tablets’ being number 1, but surprisingly a new category is becoming quite popular this Vendredi Noir and that is ‘Espresso Machines’. Lastly, Ontario beats all provinces hands down 3 years in a row with the highest percentage of online users shopping for Black Friday deals.
There’s no Age to Shop Online
Online shopping is expanding each year but so is the age bracket that is shopping online.
Traffic on Shopbot reveals how online shoppers of 55+ years old are also entering into the Black Friday frenzy
This new generation of shoppers is slowly changing the profile of the average Black Friday shopper from an impulsive shopper to a more calculated and well-informed shopper. With an interestingly diversification in the age groups of online shoppers on Shopbot throughout the years, retailers will soon need to adapt their marketing efforts to include this new age bracket. This is one of top 3 revealing growing trends of 2015 that will change the ecommerce market in the next few years
According to the latest Cisco Mobile forecasts, the increasing adoption of smarter devices and the move from 3G to 4G networks, are two big factors as to why smartphones are starting to rule the e-commerce landscape. Cisco predicts the boost in the global number of smartphone users to jump from 4.3 billion in 2014 to 5.2 billion by 20195. This growing trend is reflected with Shopbot’s mobile web traffic which tripled in the past 2 years with,
A jump of 42% of new Canadian mobile users in comparison to 2013
And more interestingly according to retail forecast from The Centre for Retail Research, total Canadian mobile sales in 2015 are expected to rise by 16.2%. Overall, online users in Canada are diversifying more than ever their way in shopping online with the use of smartphones and tablets as part of their Omni-channel experience.
Shopbot mobile users on Black Friday account for more than 31.2% of the total web traffic on this day. This is one of the highest peaks of mobile traffic of the year, along with Boxing Day. The evolution between the use of desktops and smartphones has taken different directions. Where, over the last 4 years, mobile traffic has increased by 160% while, desktop traffic has decreased by 30%.
However, in comparison to retailers in the States, Canadian merchants are lagging behind in terms of being mobile friendly. As online consumers become true mobile shoppers, the pressure for retailers to adapt to new shopping behaviour becomes more essential7. A polling conducted in January 2015 by Retail Systems Research found that only 26% of retailers worldwide carry a mobile responsive design, turning mobile shoppers away with frustration. However, when looking at the top 10 major American retailer chains, 9 out of 10 carries a mobile friendly website for their shoppers. Yet, the story is different for Canadian retailers.
This as expected has the consequence of Canadian merchants quickly losing their traffic to their Southern neighbours. Nonetheless, the year of 2015 has definitely pushed for change for many Canadian merchants. Shopbot has observed that the push for mobile change has become more prominent in the last few months with the latest Google mobile algorithm update on April 22, 2015 known as “Mobilegeddon” where, Google announced websites not carrying mobile-friendly sites will soon start to lose in Google ranking as a consequence.
How Early is ‘Early’ to Open Doors on Black Friday?
Shopbot has observed first-hand the tendency of shops opening their doors online and offline earlier each year. Unlike our Southern neighbours, many Shopbot shops report that since Black Friday does not fall on the Canadian Thanksgiving Day, they are more willing to shorten the countdown and start Black Friday earlier. The overall trend for the past 2 years has been to not follow the classic midnight opening time but to open earlier. Looking at Shopbot’s Data in 2014, shoppers started to get excited for Black Friday around 6PM. That’s a 6 hour early start.
- Canadians are restraining on overspending this Black Friday. Yet, enthusiasm is skyrocketing 4 weeks earlier than in 2014
- Black Friday shoppers are spending more time researching beforehand to make well-informed purchases. Retailers need to think twice about “deal fraud”
- Popularity of price comparison websites and deal forums used as deal detectors are gaining momentum in 2015
- Shopbot remains one of the few shopping platforms that fights for price transparency during the most dangerous shopping day
- Shift in Canadians’ shopping behaviour between Black Friday and Boxing Day
- Each Province is unique on Black Friday. While Ontarians’ show a major Black Friday interest in smartphone deals, British Columbians are obsessed with camera deals
- Vendredi Noir’s popularity is boosting in Quebec
- Canadian retailers need to catch up with their shoppers mobile habits
- Online shopping is expanding each year but so is the age bracket that shops on Black Friday. More and more of online shoppers are of 55+ years old
- A 24-hour Black Friday is a thing of the past.