Six Shopping Days and Counting

It’s only six more “sleeps” until Christmas and it seems that shoppers are dreaming of savings. According to Google,  online classified site Kijiji topped the list of shopping-related searches as of Dec. 17. Coming in fifth was eBay with price-conscious retailers, Wal-Mart and Costco taking the second and eighth spots respectively. These e-tailers and retailers, which also included Sears and Canadian Tire, offer something else for the harried consumer – a one-stop-shop solution.

It’s not all about the deals; Canadians are also looking for convenience. Although price discounts and sales play the most important role in the decision to buy, according to a recent Holiday Consumer Intentions study by Ipsos OTX, free shipping rounded out the top five influences behind purchase incentives, coupons, and rebates. In fact, Google searches for “free shipping” increased 185 per cent after Dec. 8, peaking on Free Shipping Day in Canada. The web-based incentive took place on Dec. 12 and offered free delivery in time for Christmas. More than 160 merchants took part and the website received more than 60.000 hits.

Statistics Canada reports that online shopping accounts for less than five per cent of total retail sales but it may account for much window surfing. “They’re also researching their shopping and then purchasing on foot,” said Andrew Swartz of communications and public affairs for Google Canada. Forget about Wii Fit, it’s time Nintendo developed a game for our favourite leisure activity – shopping!

-Tara Losinski