How to market your business in Canada

Get your expansion plans off to a great start, with our quick guide for marketers

Read the source article by Getting to Global here.

With a population of more than 37 million people and an average household income of over $40,000 a year, Canada is a sizeable opportunity for U.S. exporters. While its dual languages (English and French) can present challenges in areas like multilingual customer care and site translation, with the right approach and insights, there’s nothing to stop your business expanding across the border.1

Our quick guide has everything you need to help develop your marketing strategy.

1 Shopper trends and behaviors

The majority of online spenders in Canada are over 35 – a little older than in the U.S. – with books and entertainment being their most popular purchases. In fact, media products represent 30% of the overall market, compared to a global average of 9%.1

Behaviors among shoppers are similar to those in America. For example, ‘occasional’ shoppers prefer flexible returns policies, while more frequent shoppers prefer purchasing without the hassle of registering – and heavy shoppers are motivated by an engaging online experience. When it comes to payment, PayPal has a major Canadian presence, with 69% of shoppers using it in the last 6 months (versus a global average of 40%).2

2 Social media

More than 25 million Canadians are on social media,1 and ad spend in 2019 will reach $6.79b.2 Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are the most popular platforms.3

What’s interesting to note is that social media usage by women is rising faster than men across all platforms – particularly among more visual channels like Instagram and Pinterest. For men, LinkedIn is the clear favorite, with almost double the usage of women.

Like Americans, most Canadian users prefer accessing social media on their smartphones, followed by desktops and tablets.4

3 Major shopping holidays

Key shopping dates to look out for are also similar to the U.S. There’s Valentine’s Day (February 14); Easter (March/April); Mother’s Day (May); Father’s Day (June); Back-to-School (August); Halloween (October 31); and Christmas (December 25). Retailers often see big sales spikes around the fourth quarter holidays too, particularly Cyber Week, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.1

4 Digital ads trends & use

Digital ad spend in Canada has already overtaken TV and is set to become the country’s favorite advertising venue. Most digital ads in Canada (36%) are shown on social media, reflecting its popularity among younger users. That compares with 18% on entertainment sites, 12% on portals, and the rest shared among news and information sites and directories. For advertisers, it’s a strategy that’s working well: younger shoppers are more inclined to purchase on mobile, and they’re more responsive to mobile ads.

Video ads are another growth area, boosted by improved smartphone and tablet connectivity.

One final thing to bear in mind about Canadian shoppers: they can be slightly more critical when it comes to advertising media. One exception to this is search engines, which two-thirds of consumers regard as useful.