TORONTO – Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are helping to get Canadians into the holiday shopping mood, at least according to Internet giant Google.
The company saw a 44 per cent increase in Canada for search terms for Black Friday and Cyber Monday year-over-year for 2013. The company’s market research revealed that Canadian interest in Black Friday has surpassed that of Boxing Day.
Social networking giant Facebook saw holiday chatter increase by 11 per cent and discussions about shopping increase by seven per cent on Black Friday in 2012.
READ MORE: Retailers entice shoppers with ‘Canadian’ Black Friday deals
Google reported that 37 per cent of consumers they asked planned on shopping either Black Friday or Cyber Monday – 42 per cent of which plan to do so online. Almost 60 per cent of Canadians researched those sales online.
Jim Weinberg, chief merchandising officer and president of Montreal-based online retailer Beyond the Rack, said Black Friday is the e-retailer’s biggest day for sales for the entire year.
“It’s our Super Bowl,” Weinberg told Global News.
Weinberg said that in addition to gaining a “tremendous amount” of new customers throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the weekend also kicks off the site’s Christmas rush.
“Right from our inception we decided to start our Christmas campaigns from what is traditionally American Thanksgiving all the way through Cyber Monday. What we found right away was that the Friday was the biggest day of the year,” said Weinberg.
“The whole six days are our largest volume period.”
Google also found that 37 per cent of Canadians feel that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are better deals than Boxing Day sales.
Beyond the Rack has its second biggest day of sales for the year on December 26, but only started Boxing Day promotions in 2012.
Mobile shopping fuels in-store experiences
Smartphones have also become an integral part of the shopping experience – and not just for checking Instagram during snack breaks.
Fifty per cent of Canadian consumers plan to use a smartphone for holiday shopping this year and 37 per cent will download an app that will help them make purchases, according to the Google survey.
But Google found that smartphones are also driving consumers to make more informed purchases.
According to the findings, of the 50 per cent of consumers that used their smartphone in-store to find information about a product, 78 per cent left the store without making a purchase.
But according to Google Canada’s head of retail Rafe Petkovic, retailers can keep connected customers from walking out with apps that are designed to be used in-store.
READ MORE: Must have apps for holiday shopping
For example, Indigo Books and Music’s app ‘Indigo’ allows users to set their ‘favourite store’ and check-in to stores when shopping at its locations. When in-store customers can use the app to scan products for reviews and even check inventory – all without having to flag down a salesperson.
Petkovic noted that these apps allow the customer to take control of the shopping experience and feel more fulfilled.
Google collected all data via Ipsos Reid MediaCT, an independent market research firm, to gain a better understanding of consumers’ shopping intentions over the holiday season. Interviews were conducted via an online survey, yielding a total sample of 1,000 holiday shoppers in September 2013.