Calgary, AB – Ipsos Reid’s long standing Interactive Reid study has
found that year over year online spending dropped 13% among online Canadians in Q3,
2008. The study, which tracks consumer activities on the Internet, also found spending from
Q2 to Q3 had dropped by 15%.
In Q3-2007, Canadian online purchasers reported spending an average of $727 over the
past year. This figure is down this quarter to $641, a decline of 13%. The actual dollar amount
spent is at its lowest recorded level since 2003. Yet another indicator of the downturn in the
economy is that median spending online is also down this quarter, at $249 on average for the
past three months. This is 15% lower than the same time last year. Study author Mark Laver
noted, "While we actually noticed the decline in online spending occur in the second quarter of
this year, the year over year figures confirms that online Canadians have significantly reduced
their discretionary spending on the Internet."
Not surprisingly then, the number of online purchases made by Canadians has also
declined correspondingly. The average number of online purchases over the past year was
6.7, compared to an average of 8.4 one year ago, a decline of 20%.
Laver continued, "The third quarter is typically when we start to see an increase in
consumer spending each year with the approaching holiday season and the fact that
consumers typically have more disposable income in the second half of the year, with the
elimination of EI and CPP. Ultimately, this data points to a challenging environment for
retailers—online and offline—in the upcoming holiday shopping season. Online Canadians
not only use the Internet to shop, but also use it as a comparison shopping tool. With a
recessionary mindset prevalent many Canadians may search around for the best deal for their
This release is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, the
Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded from October 16 to October 21, 2008. This online survey of
2644 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national
online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are
employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of
the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from
the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample.
An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an
estimated margin of error of +/- 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Associate Vice President
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public
opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With
operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and
support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the
country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid’s
marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in
Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with
seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid
offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian
economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, health
and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global
survey-based market research group.
To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca.
About Ipsos in North America
Ipsos is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the U.S., market leader
in Canada, and among the most trusted research brands in North America. With more than
1,500 professionals and support staff in the U.S. and Canada, Ipsos offers a suite of survey-
based services—guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and
methodologies—in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media and public affairs research,
as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos companies offer a complete line of
custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services.
In 2007, Ipsos generated 927.2 million euros ($1.27 billion U.S.) in total revenues, of
which 31% came from its North American operations. The Paris-based company was founded
in 1975 and has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999.
Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn
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