Holidays create online 'Shopportunities' for Canadian deal seekers

Visa survey finds 75 per cent of online shoppers plan to spend the same or more as last year

TORONTO, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - Visa Canada today issued the results of a recent consumer survey that found that almost six in ten (57 per cent) Canadians have shopped online in the last year.

Almost half of Canadians (48 per cent) reported shopping at a Canadian online retailer, while 29 per cent report making a purchase from an American website. Among those that have done some online shopping in the past year, 23 per cent of respondents are likely to take advantage of online deals offered on "Black Friday," the day after American Thanksgiving.

Of those who plan to take advantage of holiday deals online, three quarters plan to spend the same or more as last year, with the average person spending approximately $225.50. The results showed that on average Canadian men anticipate spending about $50.00 more than women this holiday season, and older shoppers also plan to spend more than younger shoppers.

"These survey results tell us that Canadians are definitely interested in online shopping, both in Canada and the U.S. this season," said Stephanie Wallat, Business Leader, Ecommerce, Visa Canada. "With the holidays just around the corner, we wanted to better understand what Canadians are looking for when shopping online at international retailers."

The survey found that while Canadians enjoy online shopping south of the border, there remain some barriers to taking full advantage of these sales.

According to the survey, almost nine in ten Canadians say that hassle-free shipping (87 per cent) or knowing the full purchase price, including shipping and customs, before check-out (86 per cent) would make them more likely to shop at American online retailers.

Shipping made simple

To ease the shipping conundrum, Canadians can now take advantage of 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 shipping costs to Canada - so shoppers have more information with which to make their 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.

Shopping online with Visa Debit

In a separate study conducted in July 2009, Visa found that 59 per cent of Canadian respondents are interested in a debit card that allows them to make purchases online directly from their bank account. Enthusiasm was especially high among young people, with 74 per cent of 18-24 year olds saying that they are interested in a debit card that allows them to shop more widely online.

Visa Debit cards will enable Canadians to use their debit cards to pay for goods and services more widely when shopping online, over the phone, by mail or at point-of-sale in retail locations worldwide.

"We're very excited to be able to offer this new product to Canadians, who want more payment choices. Visa Debit gives consumers control over how they pay - whether it's in store, online, over the phone or overseas," said Tim Wilson, Head of Visa Canada.

Survey respondents also see security and fraud prevention measures as indispensable features, with 93 per cent stating that it is important that their debit card offer strong security features.

Online security

Visa cardholders can be confident that they are protected by Visa's layers of security when shopping in-store and online. For example, the Verified by Visa service has been adopted by more than 400,000 merchants around the world. Another layer of security is the "three-digit code," or CVV2, which is the number printed on the signature panel on the back of a Visa card. Providing this number to reputable retailers helps cardholders prove they have 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 match the address provided by the cardholder during check-out to the billing address the Visa card issuer has on file.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is the world's most advanced processing network - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

About the Ipsos Reid survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between October 29 and November 1, 2009, on behalf of Visa Canada. For this survey, a national sample of 1,004 adults (557 of whom had an online purchase for either a Canadian or American online retailer in the past twelve months) from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. For the sub-group of online shoppers (n=557), the margin of error would be +/-4.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About the Pollara Survey

Conducted by Pollara on behalf of Visa Canada, this telephone survey was fielded from June 26 to July 5, 2009. The survey was completed by 3,227 individuals across Canada and the results are considered accurate to +/-1.73%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman-Hillard, (416) 645-8173, Sarah.VanLange@fleishman.ca; Carla Morin, Visa Canada, (416) 860-8850, camorin@visa.com


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