Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Most Interesting Thing About Canadian Shoppers

After 5 years in Canada I have adopted the national pastime of focusing my attention on the nuanced differences between Americans and Canadians.

And that is why when I read TNS' New Future in Store report I couldn't help myself getting excited not only by the fact that Canada is shown as a data point (quite a self esteem boost) but it shows that we are different from American shoppers ...

Beauty, eh?

The first thing is that Canadians seem generally more open to innovation retail than Americans. Americans consumers are notoriously conservative in their attitudes to retail - partly due to lack of retail consolidation in its past - and technology.

But the most interesting trend and the most interesting cross border North American difference is the appeal of group buying (using the Internet as a tool). Shopping has always been social and the Internet is already facilitating that in a number of categories. Could it be that Canada's collectivist social and political culture is manifesting itself here? Look who else is high up on the trend - China, Japan and France....

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