New study reveals Canadians like digital for deals, TV for influence

New research from IMI shows that as ecommerce increases, new expectations are emerging around ads.

Now that Canadians have gotten used to new ways of buying things, the types of ads they come across are playing different roles in their purchase journey. The latest wave of COVID-19 research from IMI International shows that as consumers develop new routines and expectations around ecommerce, digital ads – and traditional ones – have different effects.

There are also a number of items that people say they no longer wish to buy in stores – with clothing being the most frequent thing people say they have no desire to buy in stores (15%). And as Canadians get more used to ecommerce, they’re also less likely to wait for small things – one week will do for clothing, but groceries, meds and books are ideally on the doorstep by the next day.

And, despite some people’s beliefs that brands need to provide “experiences” for Canadians, when it comes to digital media and commerce, Canadians are really just looking for things to be easy and seamless. Prior to COVID, 59% of Canadians said brands needed to be “more than just digital coupons” to capture consumers. In six months, that decreased by six percentage points. A similar decrease was seen regarding web-based flyers: in February, 64% said they were not enough to influence purchasing, with the most recent wave of research also seeing a six percentage point decrease.

Even though consumers actively seek out seamless digital transactions, traditional media is playing its part in influencing consumer behaviour. In the most recent survey, 42% of respondents said they’ve purchased something because they saw an ad on TV, which is up from 36%.

YouTube, meanwhile, saw its support go down seven percentage points in influencing people to purchase (26%). YouTube is even carrying less favour with younger generations, down 9% for influence with Gen Z and 1% for influence with Millennials. Instagram is also down 13% with Gen Z, but up 1% with Millennials.

Amazon, however, is up 8% across multiple demos. Ecommerce advertising is one of the only dedicated digital mediums expected to see ad spend increase this year, according to another report from Warc that was released last week.