The Value in Targeting the Multicultural Consumer

Never more has the need be greater for business looking to recover and or continue to build market share then to effectively target for new prospective customers.  The good news is that largest market opportunity for immediate and long-term growth can also be acquired at the highest return on investment.

In a recent survey of over 1,200 Multicultural consumers from the following cultures:  Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, Black, Arabic and GenPop.  In this 3-part series we will present some of the highlights from the Covid-19 The Impact on Multicultural Consumer Patterns, Attitudes and Beliefs.  We will be covering the In Store and Online Shopping Behaviour in this article.

Let’s first look at the changing face of the consumer marketplace.   On average Canada over the past 3 years to 2021 350,000 Newcomer have immigrated to Canada.  While 2020 was significantly below this trend, 2021 was one of the highest ever. The federal government of Canada has committed bringing in over 1.3 Million New Canadians over the next 3 years.

At over 400,000 per year that would be largest influx of New Immigrants since 1931 every year.   Over 47% of new immigrants have been, over the past decade, coming from Asia with Indian, the Philippines and China as the largest sources.   In additional to this Canada is one of the most desirable countries for International Students. In 2021 over 640,000 international students’ studies in Canada, with on average 60% of them becoming permanent residents this represents another growing segment. In fact, the vast majority of Canada’s largest ethnic communities are first generation Canadians.

This has a significant impact for national and regional brands as reaching these communities require a different approach than with the general population, but more on that later.

In Store and Online Shopping Behaviour Ethnic consumers turned to major and mass merchant stores but continued to also shop at ethnic stores during the pandemic.

Those consumers, including Non-ethnic Canadians noted the following reasons for shopping at ethnic stores across Canada included:

  • more ethnic products/brand selection (from 40% – 65%)
  • high quality of food (highest with the non-ethnic Canadian)
  • more stock

In terms of telco it was not surprising to see that upgrading home internet was noted as the highest activity taken during the pandemic started, followed by upgrades to cable/satellite services.   One interesting finding was the large opportunity going forward in home security, particularly for the Chinese and Filipino communities.   This was reinforced by the dramatic increase in feeling of increased racism from our first COVID-19 survey from the ethnic communities surveyed.

Online Shopping Behaviour Ethnic consumers are shopping online significantly more often across a board range of categories since COVID for the most part over indexing the non-ethnic consumer.  The Newcomer segment is on average more educated and tech. savvy than the general population which may explain some of the difference on their preference for online shopping.

When asked about their intentions to continue to shop online, again we saw across many categories that the Ethnic consumer was significantly more likely to than the non-visible minority consumers.

Stay tuned for more insights on the multicultural market opportunity.

Published: December 12, 2022


John Stevenson

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