Back-to-School Shopping Best Done on the Web, Survey Suggests

by Knowlton Thomas | Research

Back-to-school shopping affects nearly everyone, from elementary school kids to college students and the parents of them. It's one of the biggest shopping booms of the year, with households in Canada spending an average of nearly $700 in August.

According to a new Visa Canada survey, more shoppers than ever are headed online. Because crowds and lineups continue to be the most disliked aspect of back-to-school shopping (29% hate this aspect the most), it should come as no surprise that Canadians are turning to e-commerce as a solution to the stress.

60% of Canadians believe they can find lower prices online, while 54% believe there are better sales and promotions to be had. As a result, 12% more Canadians are shopping for clothes online this season, while 11% more are buying books and 8% more are buying school supplies. And thanks to cheaper online prices, more Canadians than ever are lowering their back-to-school budget to less than $200.

"Back-to-school shopping can be both exciting and hectic for parents and kids so it's no surprise that a number of Canadians are turning to online shopping to save time and money," said Alex Collins, Visa Canada. "We know that Canadians are deal-savvy, and regard the web as a great place to take advantage of lower prices."

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, Visa's survey reveals that Ontario residents are the largest online spenders in Canada, and intend to spend an average of $290 online, primarily at Canadian retailers (74%). Overall, shoppers in Ontario and Alberta will spend the most between now and Labour Day ($757 and $727 respectively). Prairies residents plan to spend the least online at $160. Those in Quebec are planning to spend the least overall, at $519 on average ($227 online).

That's an average of more than 40% of all shopping expenditure occurring online.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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