Back-to-school shoppers looking for deals and better selection online

    Visa survey finds shoppers expect to spend $600 online before Labour Day

    TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Forty eight per cent of Canadian online shoppers
will look to the World Wide Web in the lead up to Labour Day and one in six
will search for their back-to-school buys online.
    According to a July 2009 survey of Canadian online shoppers commissioned
by Visa Canada(1), of the 48 per cent who intend to shop online between now
and Labour Day, one-third expect to spend more online than in the same period
last year. With the average estimated online spend before Labour Day totalling
approximately $600, survey respondents said they are turning to the Internet
because of its convenience (35 per cent), better prices (40 per cent) and
superior selection (26 per cent).
    One in six online shoppers will shop for classic back-to-school
must-haves online; including books (25 per cent), computers (22 per cent),
backpacks (10 per cent) and other supplies. Forty per cent of online shoppers
indicated plans to purchase clothing and shoes for back-to-school. Online
shoppers plan to spend an average of $318 on back to school purchases,
slightly above what will be spent in retail stores. Four in 10 online shoppers
plan to also shop for back-to-school goods in retail stores, where they expect
to spend an average of $298.
    "It's interesting that the spend in-stores and online is so similar,"
said Stephanie Wallat, Visa Canada. "It could be a reflection that shoppers
are targeting specific purchases online, looking for goods unavailable
elsewhere and better prices."

    Shopping in Canada and the U.S.

    While Canadian online shoppers made an average of 7.1 purchases at
Canadian sites in the past year, U.S. sites were also favoured with an average
of 4.8 purchases. Shoppers cited variety (37 per cent), pricing (34 per cent)
and availability (26 per cent) as the key incentives for shopping at U.S.
    For Visa cardholders wanting to purchase from American websites that
don't currently ship to Canada, Visa is now working with a service called
Borderlinx, which facilitates Canadian orders from U.S. only sites. Borderlinx
also provides a useful calculator that will estimate the total cost of the
purchase before you buy - including, taxes, duties, currency conversion and
shipment costs to Canada - so you have enough information to make your final
purchase decision. For additional savings, purchases from different websites
can be consolidated by Borderlinx into one shipment for delivery to Canada.
From now until the end of 2009, Visa cardholders will receive free
registration and a 15 per cent discount on Borderlinx shipping. More
information is available at
    "Borderlinx is a great option for those items you can't buy in Canada and
can't get shipped here," said Wallat.

    Online layers of security

    Many of the categories of merchandise most attractive to online shoppers
are mirrored by the types of merchants that participate in the Verified by
Visa(R) program. Dell, Best Buy, Future Shop, TigerDirect, MDG (iStore),
Bentley, The Source, Telus and Aldo are all participating in the program along
with 2,000 other participating Canadian merchants.
    The Verified by Visa service, which is supported by Visa-issuing
financial institutions and participating merchants, helps provide another
layer of security online for Visa cardholders. Free for consumers, the
Verified by Visa program has been adopted by more than 200,000 merchants and
378 million Visa cardholders around the world. Canadian Visa cardholders can
sign up for this program at their Visa card issuer's website, through
or when shopping at participating merchant websites.
    The Verified by Visa service is just one of Visa's multiple layers of
security designed for the eCommerce channel. Another layer that helps protect
online merchants and cardholders shopping via the Web is the "three-digit
code," or CVV2, which is the number printed on the signature panel on the back
of a Visa card. It helps to prove to the merchant that the cardholder has the
card in his or her possession when ordering online or over the phone. AVS, or
the Address Verification Service, helps ensure that the person making a
purchase with a Visa card is the same person who receives the Visa card's
monthly statement. Merchants begin the process by matching the address
provided by the cardholder during check-out to the billing address the Visa
card issuer has on file.

    About Visa

    Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network
providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes
consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered
under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more
than 170 countries. For more information, visit

    (1) For the Visa survey, conducted by The Research House, a total of
        1,000 online shoppers were surveyed online between July 2-8, 2009. An
        unweighted probability sample of this size, with 100 per cent
        response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of plus or
        minus 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Margin of error for
        subgroups will be larger.

For further information:

For further information: Sarah VanLange, Fleishman-Hillard, (416)
645-8173,; Carla Morin, Visa Canada, (416)

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