Men to spend more online for back-to-school: Visa

These and other online spend trends revealed in a survey conducted for Visa Canada by Research House.

Canadians will each spend an average of $112 shopping online between now and Labour Day – about a quarter of the amount they will shell out in-store ($509), according to a survey for Visa Canada conducted by Research House, a Toronto-based data collection firm.

Men, who are often (rightly or wrongly) stereotyped as a demo that hates shopping, plan to spend almost twice as much as women online ($151 compared to $78). This amounts to about four online purchases for men between now and September, according to the online survey, conducted July 12 to 19 with 1,001 online shoppers. The data also shows which categories they are most likely to spend on, and amount breakdowns according to region.

Shopping carts may not be lined up bumper-to-bumper at the cash registers this season as 72% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they will do their back-to-school shopping online. This was the age group most likely to make online purchases, compared to 55% of all adults who said they would shop on the web.

This makes sense considering the college-age demo, as books and clothing will be the most popular purchases (37%), according to the online survey. The data also shows how much consumers plan to spend online and in store, with breakdowns according to region.

Health and beauty products will also be popular among online shoppers, as 26% said they would spend their money on this category, followed by travel (24%), computers or software (23%), footwear (21%) and then music or music players (19%). School supplies are surprisingly near the bottom with 19% saying they would make this purchase online, just above electronics like DVD players and TVs (16%) and phones and telecommunication products (12%).

The majority of online shoppers (60%) expect they will spend the same amount on back-to-school purchases as last year, while 15% say they will spend more. Three quarters of those purchases will be from Canadian websites (74%).

Ontario residents are most likely to do their shopping research online, as 32% said they will visit social networking sites for product info and price comparisons – this compared to 28% of all Canadians, and 22% of Atlantic Canadians, who were the least likely to look for this kind of insight on blogs or soc media networks.

However, Atlantic Canadians will regionally spend the most online ($164) and residents of Quebec, the least ($83).