Wishabi

October 21, 2009 08:00 ET

Canadian Consumers Flocking to U.S. Online Retailers

Wishabi study shows that 63% of online shoppers are taking advantage of strong Canadian dollar

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2009) - The strengthening Canadian dollar has caused a sharp increase in the number of consumers researching and doing business with U.S. retailers, according to a new study of cross-border shopping trends by Wishabi.ca, Canada's leading comparison shopping service.

The study, done over the past month by Wishabi, found that more than six in 10 users (out of Wishabi's 150,000 unique visitors over the study time period) researched a U.S. price, and nearly 15% of those users purchased from a U.S.-based merchant. When compared to the online research and shopping habits of consumers in April 2009, Wishabi has seen an increase of more than 1,000 % in cross-border purchases.

"As the Canadian dollar approaches parity with the U.S. dollar, it's not just our borders that are congested with Canadian shoppers heading south in search of a good deal. In the world of e-commerce, cross-border shopping is also booming," says Wehuns Tan, Wishabi's CEO. "Increasingly more consumers from across the country are going online and making the time to compare the deals offered by retailers on both sides of the border. As a result, over the past 30 days, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Canadians who are favouring purchases from U.S. retailers, particularly when it comes to electronics, fashion accessories and baby products."

Of the leading categories researched by Wishabi users, the average discount ranged from $8.80 per item for purses to $123 for digital camcorders. Actual pricing differences varied greatly, with some per-item discounts of more than 60% in certain categories.

"Canadian consumers are not only taking advantage of the Canadian dollar but also making smarter and more informed purchasing decisions than ever before," says Tan. "Canadian retailers that are more competitive and aggressive in both their pricing and the value they deliver to shoppers will emerge as winners despite the strengthening loonie."

The study was conducted by Wishabi by evaluating normalized usage statistics and behavioral data over a 30-day period beginning September 15, 2009. It also includes a statistical analysis of Wishabi's product database, which captures prices for more than 3M items from over 300 merchants. Pricing and discount data provided is based on information gathered this past weekend.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Canadian Cross Border Shopping Statistics
April 2009 vs October 2009
Source: Wishabi Canada Analytics
Indexed per 1,000 users
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
October
April 2009 2009
(Average (Average
Per 1,000 Per 1,000
Users) Users) % Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Researched Canadian Price 922 910 -1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Researched US Price 170 635 +273%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purchased from Canadian Online Retailer 81 84 +1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purchased from US Online Retailer 7 78 +1014%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Top Cross Border Shopping Categories Volume and Discount
Source: Wishabi Canada Analytics
October 2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average
Discount Max $
$ (US Average % Difference
Category vs. Price US vs. Max %
Category Popularity Canada) Difference Canada Discount
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
GPS (Fitness and
Automotive) 1 $71.08 18.59% $306.36 61.00%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Cameras 2 $21.93 5.03% $1697.01 49.97%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Camcorders 3 $123.39 10.25% $1817.28 57.63%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Books, Music, DVD's 4 $15.03 6.02% $65.15 37.02%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunglasses 5 $6.01 1.02% $94.25 42.03%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cologne & Fragrances 6 $15.66 27.90% $21.66 28.05%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purses & Handbags 7 $8.8 11.57% $23.44 48.48%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baby Toys &
Accessories 8 $32.03 31.8% $77.48 64.40%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Watches 9 $49.77 16.5% $300.67 64.67%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notebook & Laptops 10 $94.32 5.35% $893.23 45.98%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Power Tools 11 $16.83 16.85% $153.89 62.95%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kitchenware and Dining 12 $42.37 15% $579.75 65.02%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


About Wishabi.ca

Wishabi.ca is a social shopping service that helps Canadians shop online by providing intelligent shopping information. Unlike typical comparison shopping sites, Wishabi uses the power of the community to help find online deals for consumers and validates them through Wishabi's patent-pending deal ranking system. Since its January 2009 launch, Wishabi.ca has grown to over 150,000 users, 300 merchants and three million products; and more than 30,000 crowd-sourced deals have been posted by deal hunters.

Contact Information