Sunday, August 7

Back To School Big Spenders

I received this press release today, and thought I'd share it. There's some subliminal (Visa) advertising, and it's pretty easy (Visa) to see who (Visa) commissioned the (Visa) study, but I don't mind throwing them a free plug. My CIBC Classic Visa and I have been quite close since first year university, and I pay the balance in full each month (of course!) so I don't believe they've ever actually taken any of my money. Really, I owe them!

FYI: To date, I have purchased a $10 lunch bag for each girl (Frannie: Hello Kitty, since we couldn't find Star Wars, Maggie: Dora), and that's it. And that was debit, not Visa, and in-store, not online. I'll get Frannie a first-day outfit, and she needs a few pairs of pants since she has her mother's legs, but I'm not going crazy with shopping. Now, my own back-to-school-as-a-teacher shopping is another issue!
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Ontario Residents Survive Back-to-School Stress with Online Shopping:
Visa survey looks at Canadian back-to-school spending habits

(Toronto, ON) August 2, 2011 –This summer, eCommerce will see a boost as Canadian consumers will be looking to the web for their back-to-school shopping preparations in order to keep stress low and avoid lineups in-store and Ontario residents lead the trend with an average anticipated back to school online spend of $259.

This year’s back-to-school shopping survey revealed that 29 per cent of Canadian consumers dislike the crowds at brick and mortar stores. To avoid this, they are heading online for cheaper prices (54 per cent), better sales and promotions (48 per cent) and because it is faster and more convenient (38 per cent).

“As parents and students prepare to return to the classroom, the stress of back-to-school shopping can take a toll. Forty five per cent of those surveyed suggest the best way to stay stress free when back-to-school shopping is to start early and 27 per cent said shopping online is the second best way to keep the stress level low,” said Stephanie Wallat, Visa Canada. “We are seeing Canadians take advantage of the convenience that online shopping offers and Visa makes it easier and secure when purchasing those back-to-school must-haves.”

According to a July 2011 survey of online shoppers commissioned by Visa Canada, Canadian shoppers plan to spend an average of $404 online and in-store between now and Labour Day on back- to-school items with Ontario shoppers planning to spend the highest average of $447. Clothing is the back-to-school shopper’s most popular purchase, and 48 per cent of respondents are planning on adding to their wardrobe online. Other online items Canadians are looking for include school supplies (41 per cent), computers/software (36 per cent) and footwear (32 per cent).

“Shoppers in the market for back-to-school deals should also visit Visaperks.ca for coupons and special offers at merchants like GAP Kids, adidas and Lenovo,” adds Wallat.

Back-to-School (BTS) Online Shopping: Canadian Cross Border Shopping

Interesting variances also exist in how respondents’ perceive online back-to-school shopping in Canada and the US. British Columbia has the highest incidence of US online shopping with an average of 36 per cent, compared to 24 per cent in the Maritimes and 25 per cent in Ontario. Of all Canadians polled, 49 per cent found there is more variety in the US, while 37 per cent stated the store they were looking to purchase from was not available in their area.

Online layers of security also reduce stress.

Visa cardholders who want to shop online can count on several layers to protect them when online shopping:

• Verified by Visa, a password-based security program designed for online shopping, has been adopted by more than 378 million Visa cardholders and 430,000 merchants around the world. Adopting Canadian merchants include Air Canada, WestJet, Via Rail, Best Buy, Future Shop, Dell, Telus, Cineplex, Tim Hortons, Aldo, Suzy Shier, Bluenotes, and La Senza. CVV2 or the “three-digit code”, which is the number printed on the signature panel on the back of a Visa card. It helps to prove to the merchant that the cardholder has the card in his or her possession when ordering online or over the phone.

• Visa E-Promise, which assures Visa cardholders that if they have not successfully resolved a dispute with an online, phone order or mail order merchant, they can contact their Visa card issuer directly to initiate action to resolve the credit card charge in question.

• Visa cardholders are also covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy, which means cardholders are protected against fraud if a lost or stolen Visa card is used to purchase goods in person, online, by mail or by phone.

For more information about Visa’s Zero Liability Policy and the Visa E-Promise, please visit http://www.visa.ca/.

“Visa’s layers of security offer added protection and peace of mind for online shoppers using Visa cards, letting them shop online with confidence wherever and whenever they want,” said Wallat.

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So...how about you? How much money do you think you'll be spending on back-to-school? Do you shop primarily online or at brick-and-mortar stores? (Tech-savvy as I am, for me "going shopping" means actually "going" somewhere.) And most importantly, did you catch the subtle advertising within the survey results?

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