Cyber Monday in Canada

Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Canada

What this trend means for social proprietors.

While it is widely successful in the United States, there is a trend developing world wide and it is having an effect in Canada. More and more, retailers need to participate in the Cyber Monday sales event. The 2012 Canadian statistics are not readily available, but based on previous years data there are 2 surveys that predict an increase in activity for Canadian retailer’s this year.

According to an annual Bank of Montreal report, 44 per cent of Canadians plan to participate in Cyber Monday shopping. Of those shoppers, 16 per cent say they’re shopping for others, 5 per cent say they’re buying for themselves and 23 per cent are buying for both themselves and others.

“With online shopping becoming a critically important sales channel for retailers, we are beginning to see Canadian businesses making investments and increasing their online focus to make the shopping experience as convenient and easy as possible,” said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “For Canadian consumers and businesses, Cyber Monday has become the kick-off to the online holiday shopping season, and by far the busiest online shopping day of the year.”

Douglas Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets, adds, “As more Canadian retailers mirror U.S. sales promotions, there is the potential for significant activity on Cyber Monday. More than ever, Canadian shoppers are taking notice and adjusting their retail calendar.”

These comments focus on the Cyber Monday sales. Black Friday sales figures are usually based on retail store sales but the US market saw over 1 billion dollars in online sales for Black Friday, in 2012.

Willy Kruh, global chairman in retail markets at KPMG, says Cyber Monday is growing at an even faster pace in Canada than Black Friday, as retailers look for new ways to fight back against U.S. competitors eating into their profits. Last year, Canadian Black Friday sales were up 8.5 per cent from 2010, while Cyber Monday sales grew at 15.4 per cent, according to KPMG research. The increase is due in part to improvements in selection, online security and shipping at Canadian retailers.

Mr. Kruh pointed out that online shopping makes up just 10 per cent of total retail sales in Canada, but he sees it growing at a much more rapid pace this year and over the next few years. A 2011 American Express poll found that 56 per cent of Canadians plan to shop online for at least some of their gifts this season, up five per cent from 2011. And 23 per cent of those surveyed appeared so averse to crowded malls, long lineups and busy parking lots that they would rather clean their toilets than visit a mall the week before Christmas.

Terry Heenan

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