The digital divide between French and English speakers in Canada is closing, according to recent findings. The following statistics can guide businesses in the right direction when it comes to marketing toward the French-speaking and Quebec population.
Research organization Cefrio found that the frequency of smartphone users accessing the internet several times a day has increased from 61% to 69% between 2018 and 2019.
This impact on the province’s digital access can be attributed to economic performance. According to the December 2017 Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, Quebec’s rate of unemployment fell to 4.9%. This followed a downward trend since the beginning of 2016.
More recently, Statistics Canada found that Quebec’s employment rate increased by 1.5% between December 2018 and 2019.
This growth in labour coincides with the rise of disposable income, according to a report by the Institut de la statistique du Québec. The report noted that this increase began in 2016 and is helping to close the gap between itself and the rest of Canada in terms of consumer purchasing power.
In regards to device ownership between Canadians, a report by the Canada Media Fund noted that 84.4% of internet users who speak french have a smartphone. Meanwhile, individuals who speak English are at 90%. The second most popular device among the French-speaking population pertains to desktops and laptops at 83.5%. The English counterpart is at 85.8%. Taking third place are tablets users at 54.9% and 55.4% for French and English speakers respectively.
Cefrio’s research also showcases this. At 82%, smartphones are the most popular type of device for internet users between ages 18-24 in Quebec. For individuals between 25 and 34, smartphone usage is at 73%. Taking third place are smartphone users between ages 35 and 44 at 68%.
More frequent access to the internet through various devices can have an impact on the number of digital buyers in Quebec. For instance, according to a release by Cefrio, 81% of individuals between ages 18 and 24 are digital buyers. Closely following this is the 25 to 34 age group at 80%.
In terms of where digital buyers are spending their income, Cefrio found that 38% pertains to clothing, shoes, jewellery, and accessories. Meanwhile, 21% of product purchases are attributed to the food, health, and beauty category. Electronics are also at 21%. The most popular platform used for purchases is Amazon for these three categories.
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