Retailers are going to have more time to connect with Canadian shoppers this holiday season.

As consumers’ browsing and buying habits have changed considerably this year, some Canadian retailers are beginning to promote their holiday sales earlier, with several retailers offering Black Friday-like deals to coincide with Canadian Thanksgiving on October 12.

Additionally, publishers such as Finder and Rakuten.ca (a sister company to Rakuten Advertising) are working with brands to promote these offers earlier in the quarter.

And data suggests that Canadian shoppers are planning on spending this holiday season. Rakuten Advertising’s New Rules Report, which surveyed thousands of global holiday shoppers, shows that:

  • 90% of Canadians say they’ll shop for gifts for major holidays this season.
  • 63% are planning on shopping during major sales events such as Black Friday
  • 53% or more of Canadian shoppers are not planning on changing how much they spend on gifts for others this holiday season.
  • 24% say they’re actually planning on increasing their spending on immediate family members this year.

So how can brands reach Canadian holiday shoppers this season? Here are a few tips:

Get your mobile house in order

Canadians are showing a greater comfort level with shopping on smartphones. Data from our network shows that in Canada, mobile accounted for 31% of total sales during Cyber Week 2019, up from 26.64% in 2018. Bottom line: ensure your affiliate links are mobile optimized.

What’s more – eMarketer projects that mobile will account for 33.1% of all retail ecommerce sales in Canada this year, up 26% from last year.

Test your mobile site and app on multiple devices to ensure that shoppers have the least amount of friction along the path to purchase. Leverage mobile in-app tracking to better reward publishers that are driving conversions to your mobile app.

Optimize your search strategy

Canadian holiday shoppers are more likely to use search engines for holiday inspiration than anything else, except for referrals from friends and family. Check your top keywords to see how you rank and adjust your bidding accordingly.

Now is also the time to start testing out newer ad formats such as shoppable or discovery ads to find out which provide the best conversion rate.

Communicate your safety procedures

Our data shows that Canadian holiday shoppers, particularly those without children, are more likely to cite COVID-19 related health concerns than any other factor when determining what will impact the timing of their holiday shopping.

Clearly communicate what you’re doing to keep employees and customers safe. Promote the use of contactless payment or curbside pickup in your affiliate programs.

Appeal to those who want to shop local

While cross-border shopping is on the rise, 36% of Canadians intend to predominantly shop domestically. If your brand is Canadian, highlight it. If your brand ships from the US, highlight your smooth and customs-free Canadian customer journey.

Rakuten Advertising’s New Rules Report has more insights on how brands can better position themselves with shoppers around the world this holiday season. Download it today to learn more.