There’s Significant Value in Targeting the Multicultural Consumer

Nevermore has the need be more significant for businesses looking to recover and build market share to effectively target new prospective customers.  The good news is that the largest market opportunity for immediate and long-term growth can also be acquired with the highest investment return.

In a recent survey we surveyed over 1,200 Multicultural consumers from the following cultures:  Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, Black, Arabic and GenPop.  In this 4-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, with the following topics to follow:

  • Telco, Finance and Major Purchases During and Post Covid-19
  • Activities Now and Post-Covid-19
  • Changing Beliefs and Attitudes

Let’s first look at the changing face of the consumer marketplace.   On average Canada over the past three years to 2019 316,200 Newcomers have immigrated to Canada.  While 2020 will be significantly below this trend, the government of Canada has committed bringing in 1.2 Million Newcomers over the next three years.  At 400,000 per year, that would be an enormous influx of New Immigrants since 1913 every year.

Source: Stats Canada

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 addition to this, Canada is one of the most desirable countries for International Students. In 2019 over 640,000 international students studied 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.

Ethnic Community                 Total Population                 % First Generation
South Asian Canadians            1,330,770                                   69%
Chinese Canadians                  1,147,475                                   73%
Black Canadians                         675,475                                   56%
Filipino Canadians                      598,980                                    77%

This has a significant impact for national and regional brands as reaching these communities require a different approach than with the general population. 

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

National chains do have an opportunity to grab market share as the ethnic consumers noted:  

  • not being as comfortable shopping at Ethnic Stores (x%) 
  • are concerned about higher prices at ethnic stores 
  • more crowded 

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 the telco sector it was not surprising to see that upgrading home internet was noted as the highest activity taken since 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 in April 2020 from the ethnic communities surveyed.

Online Shopping Behaviour 
Ethnic consumers are shopping online significantly more often across a board range of categories since the pandemic began 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 post Covid-19 again we saw across many categories that the Ethnic consumer was significantly more likely to than the non-ethnic consumer.  

 It is clear that the Ethnic consumer represents a current and future area of opportunity for both instore and online shopping.  Retailers looking to build a recovery strategy should be absolutely considering developing tactics to engage with the multicultural consumer. 

 Stay tuned for the more insights on the Multicultural consumer.

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