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(Smart)Phoning it in: Canadian shoppers rely on smartphones

The latest numbers from Google Canada underline the importance of strong mobile sites for retailers

Jim Kerr is Venture Publishing's Associate Director of Digital Initiatives. Get in touch with him at

Dec 4, 2013

by Jim Kerr

Is your shoddy mobile site slowing down business for you this holiday season?

According to numbers from Google Canada published this week in The Financial Post, the answer is probably yes.

Google Canada says while only 12 per cent of Canadian smartphone users will buy their holiday gifts this year from their device, a far greater number will use their smartphones for other key parts of the gift buying process.

The Ipsos Reid MediaCT poll found that 53 per cent of Canadian smartphone users will look up information about a product on their device, 43 per cent will use a GPS or location-based holiday shopping feature and 37 per cent will download some kind of shopping app.

When you take into account that 75 per cent of Canada’s 27 million wireless phone subscribers have a smartphone, compared to 60 per cent in the U.S., the importance of a strong mobile site becomes apparent.

The Google Canada poll also found that a poor online experience negatively impacted the buying decisions of 68 per cent of respondents, and 78 per cent said they’ve left a store because of information they found about a product on their mobile device.

With the number of Canadians using their smartphones to both buy and research products on the rise, every retailer in the country should be reevaluating how it interacts with customers online. A good website is clearly no longer enough with the number of people relying on mobile sites for information daily.

So, is your mobile site up to snuff?

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