How Canadian & U.S. Consumers Differ Online

In our recently released Big Data consumer omnibus using social media analysis around Canadian consumer habits and actions, we noticed that Canadians behave differently in some ways than Americans. Why does this matter? Most Canadian marketers rely on American market research to understand the Canadian digital consumer. Largely because there really isn’t much in the way of Canadian research. Until now.

In building our Big Data Omnibus, we uncovered some interesting differences between Canadian and American consumers when it comes to technology adoption and online shopping behaviours. While we can’t share all the insights, here’s some key insights to get the brain thinking.

Product Research | Canadians vs. Americans
We found that Canadians tend to spend 2-3x longer conducting product research online than Americans. Price is not always the key factor either. 63% of Canadians look at warranties and support for technology products and electronics. Canadians are more likely than Americans to check out YouTube videos with reviews and unboxing. But they also check repair and maintenance videos on bigger ticket items like fridges and stoves.

Talking to Friends About Purchases
Canadians tend to be a little less chatty with friends in social media when considering certain purchases. Americans are more likely to take pictures and share intended purchases with a wider group of people, whereas Canadians will limit their sharing with a very small circle of friends and often just family. When it comes to cars, Canadians keep mum, but appliances and smaller ticket items they’ll share more.

Heavy In Store Mobile Usage
Canadians are heavy users of a mobile phone in a retail store. They’ll seek out competitor prices and product reviews on small appliances, electronics and sometimes even groceries. Canadians prefer to use coupons and discounts served up on their mobile five times more than Americans. This is likely due to Canada’s different coupon laws.

Overall
Canadians are more product and price research intensive than Americans overall. We may attribute this to having a high penetration of smartphones, higher overall bandwidth access and less disposable income. In our analysis of Canadians talking about product purchases and looking at American comments, the thread of a more cautious approach rang true.

Find Out More
There’s a whole lot more insight in our Canadian Big Data Consumer Omnibus for anyone looking for that additional competitive edge. You should probably check it out before your competitors do.