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What and how are newcomers buying in Canada?

From 2011 to 2016, two- thirds of Canada’s population growth came from immigration, and this dependence on newcomers to grow the country is expected to increase. 

According to Statistics Canada, by 2056, immigration is predicted to be Canada’s sole driver of population growth. 

With this population segment only set to grow, Oath, in partnership with Group M, set out to better understand newcomers to Canada and learn more about their media consumption, cultural mindset and shopping attitudes and behaviours. 

This new research surveyed 935 newcomers from four Canadian provinces to help draw a better picture of their journey, media demands and habits.

Key findings: 

Media consumption. Accessible media is supreme with digital and free content more widely consumed than broadcast TV. Getting a cell phone is one of the first things newcomers do when settling in with new Canadians being exceptionally mobile dominant. In fact, 48 per cent spend three-plus hours on their smartphone compared to 37 per cent of non-new Canadians.

Newcomers look to advertising to help them learn about brands and make purchase decisions.

There’s a balance of consuming content in native languages and English/French, but English is the language in which most content is consumed.

New Canadians – Yahoo study findings. New Canadians are very price sensitive, with price being the most important factor that influenced their purchase decision.

Travel. Typically occurs after one year of residency and within Canada. New Canadians are more likely to travel by rail or bus and are heavily influenced by price and luggage allowance.

Autos. New Canadians are more likely to purchase a used vehicle and twice as likely to be influenced by advertising with 91 per cent being satisfied with the selection of vehicles in Canada.

Banking. Newcomers research financial institutions before moving to Canada with 78 per cent stating opening a bank account is the first thing they did. Additionally, 65 per cent of newcomers have Canadian banking apps compared to 50 per cent of non-new Canadians.

Telecom. Smartphones are top priority for newcomers with 79 per cent using messenger apps to stay in touch friends and family outside of Canada. Most state their smartphone usage is considerably higher in Canada than it had been back at home. International minutes, ability to get a phone fast and reviews are significantly more important to new Canadians. 

Cultural mindset. Canada is viewed as a land of opportunity despite rationale for moving here. There are struggles, but overall attitude about moving to Canada is positive.

50 per cent of newcomers balance adoption of Canadian lifestyle with maintaining their cultural traditions.

25 per cent adopt Canadian lifestyles.

25 per cent maintain lifestyles/traditions from their country of origin.  

Shopping. New Canadians are very price sensitive, with price being the most important factor that influenced their purchase decision. The findings came in the form of:  

Beauty: 94 per cent of newcomers started using new beauty products upon moving to Canada with prestige of brand being particularly influential.

Food: 60 per cent cook traditional dishes from their home country as a way to reconnect. However, 42 per cent like to try new brands every time they shop (versus 24 per cent of non-new Canadians).

The research included qualitative online discussions with new Canadians across multiple ethnicities along with quantitative work through an online survey. 

Oath (via Yahoo) also surveyed Canadian-born consumers for a comparison to the new Canadian audience. The new Canadians included people of varied areas of origin including: China, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, South and Central America and the Philippines.

Posted: Nov 30, 2017

February 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016