Survey shows Canadian shoppers looking online for better back-to-school deals

Online shopping has made impulse shopping even easier. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

EDMONTON – Back-to-school shopping isn’t cheap, but it looks like a lot of parents are hoping to stretch their hard-earned dollars by turning to the web.

According to a survey commissioned by Visa Canada, 79 per cent of shoppers will be looking for back-to-school deals on the Internet.

And when it comes to who’s shopping online the most, Albertans are leading the way. Results suggest they will also spend the most on their online purchases ($201), followed by Ontarians ($174) and Quebecers ($165).

“Canadians are approaching the back-to-school season in a savvier way, looking online to help them get what they need for a price they’re willing to pay,” said Dan Arnold, Associate Vice-President of Pollara, which conducted the survey. “This emphasis on cost is underscored by the fact that 90 per cent of shoppers surveyed stated that they’ll be setting and following a back-to-school budget before going shopping.”

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While crowds and lineups continue to be the number one pet peeve when it comes to back-to-school shopping according to Visa Canada’s findings, those surveyed still plan on spending an average of $325 in stores.

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Here are some more results from the survey:

  •  58 per cent of shoppers claim they’ll need three shopping sessions to find everything they need; 11 per cent plan to finish it in one take.
  • 67 per cent intend to start their back-to-school shopping in August; four per cent plan to wait until the last minute in September
  •  87 per cent admit to “showrooming,” (looking at items in-store before buying them for less online). Men surveyed were more likely than women to be regular showroom browsers, with this trend being most prevalent among those under 25.
  • The number of respondents who said that basic supplies like pens, pencils and notebooks were their most important purchases increased (up 14 per cent from last year), while the number of shoppers who focused on clothing decreased (down eight per cent).

Overall, the average planned spending both in-store and online is lower than in 2012, according to Visa Canada. But another recent survey projects back-to-school spending across the country will climb four per cent this year, with Alberta Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador expected to lead retail sales.

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