Monday, September 26, 2022

Posthaste: The metaverse is here to stay, Canadians say, and it’s influencing how they shop

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More than half of Canadians believe the metaverse will be part of everyday life within the next decade, study says

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Many Canadians believe the metaverse is the way of the future, according to new research by fintech company Afterpay Ltd.

The metaverse is a virtual reality space that some experts are calling the next version of the internet. Many companies have been using the space to showcase their products and connect with consumers in a much more interactive way than a traditional online marketplace.

The study interviewed more than 2,000 adults from the United States and Canada. It found that more than half of Canadians believe the metaverse will be part of everyday life within the next decade.

That number is even higher among younger generations who grew up in the digital age: 60 per cent for gen-Zs and 70 per cent for millennials.

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And it’s influencing the way consumers shop. The survey found that 60 per cent of Canadians are interested in buying real-world items in the metaverse. That compares with 70 per cent of gen-Zs and almost 80 per cent of millennials in North America.

According to the report, younger consumers are seeking an “omnichannel or nothing” shopping experience. Essentially, they “want more ways to shop – no matter what it is or where they are.”

The survey found that more than half (54 per cent) of gen-Zs in North America value brands that have both online and offline stores. A quarter of the generation has even abandoned a brand because their preferred method of payment was unavailable.

Over half of North American gen-Zs (57 per cent) and millennials (50 per cent) indicated that they have voice-shopped in the last year. Convenience, along with product reviews and ratings, were key reasons to shop online among gen-Zs. In fact, 40 per cent of gen-Zs said they were likely to ditch a brand because of a lack of reviews.

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But the next generation of consumers is not giving up on brick-and-mortar stores, either. The report said that gen-Zs tend to shop more in-store for items they want immediately in order to avoid wait times and delivery fees.

They are also being mindful of information privacy while doing their shopping. More than 60 per cent of gen-Zs indicated that data protection is critical.

In addition, young consumers want to shop sustainably when possible. The survey found that more than 20 per cent have stopped buying from a brand because of sustainability reasons. A further 21 per cent of gen-Zs said they are likely to discontinue using a brand that has a poor reputation for sustainability.

“Gen-Zs have a complex set of values. They care deeply about the environment and want brands to move with purpose. However, they’re also seeking brands who can provide more seamless and convenient ways to shop through technology,” Ryann Carruthers, Afterpay Canada’s general manager, said in a press release. “The data suggests it’s complicated, and there is a disconnect between how gen Z acts and how they feel — businesses need to recognize this disparity.”

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The study showed that Canadian consumers seem to prioritize sustainability more than their American counterparts. A brand’s commitment to eco-friendliness inspired loyalty among 49 per cent of Americans and over 58 per cent of Canadians.

The difference is even more prominent when comparing the younger generation: 72 per cent of Canadian gen-Zs said they try to shop sustainably in comparison to only about 50 per cent of their American peers.

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EVRAZ LOOKS TO SELL ASSETS Embattled Russian steelmaker Evraz PLC says it is looking to sell its North American assets, including operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, amid heightened scrutiny and sanctions resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company, whose largest shareholder is sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, pictured above, said Wednesday that it has launched a process to solicit proposals for the acquisition of its North American subsidiaries. Read on for the full story by the Financial Post’s Meghan Potkins. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

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  • Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food; Viviane Lapointe, Liberal MP for Sudbury; and Marc G. Serre, Liberal MP for Nickel Belt, will announce funding support for agri-food business innovation and expansion in northern Ontario.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Vic Fedeli, Ontario minister of economic development, job creation and trade, will make an announcement.
  • Irek Kusmierczyk, Liberal MP for Windsor—Tecumseh, will make an announcement to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Deadline for Alberta United Conservative Party supporters to join or renew their membership and vote in the race to replace Jason Kenney as leader.
  • Today’s data: Canadian construction investment and new motor vehicle sales; U.S. trade price indices and University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index
  • Earnings: Dentalcorp Holdings Ltd., MDA Ltd., Aimia Inc.

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which had been stick-handling economic and market fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic without losses, ended that streak in its first fiscal quarter. On Thursday, CPPIB reported a 4.2 per cent loss, equivalent to $23 billion, for the three months ending June 30. Net assets fell to $523 billion from $539 billion, and included an influx of $7 billion from CPP contributions. “Uncertain business and investment conditions and market turbulence (are) anticipated to continue throughout the fiscal year,” CPPIB said in a document accompanying its financial results. Read on for the full story by the Financial Post’s Barbara Shecter.

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Strapped for cash during the pandemic? Check your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) account. The CRA has accumulated about $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques, and wants to make sure it ends up where it belongs – with taxpayers. Our content partner MoneyWise Canada has details on how to find out if you have unclaimed money and what to do with it.

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Noella Ovid, with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Have a story idea, pitch, embargoed report, or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at posthaste@postmedia.com, or hit reply to send us a note.

Listen to Down to Business for in-depth discussions and insights into the latest in Canadian business, available wherever you get your podcasts. Check out the latest episode below:

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