Only 13% of Canadians Say Virtual Interactions Are “As Good As Being There” – GfK

Significantly below global average in 22-country study

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Even in this era of virtual information and communication, Canadians
still prefer the personal touch.

As today’s technology continues to become more sophisticated and more
integrated into daily life, market research experts GfK conducted a
global study to see if virtual interactions with people and places are
seen to be as good as being there in person.

Canadian data on this subject is almost the polar opposite compared to
the global average. While 23 percent of internet users across 22
countries said that virtual interactions can be just as good as reality,
only 13 percent of Canadians feel the same way. Conversely, 15 percent
of global respondents said they disagreed with the statement,
compared to 23 percent of Canadians. As consumers are inundated every
day with marketing and advertising through virtual technology, these
findings give a much clearer insight regarding which markets and
consumer segments are more open to virtual interactions.

For example, almost one in three (30%) working Americans aged 20 to 49
fully agrees that a virtual interaction such as FaceTime or Skype rivals
that of real-life communication. This means that these people would be
more amenable and accepting towards allowing technology to be a bigger
part of daily life.

In contrast, GfK’s report has demonstrated that Canadians prefer the
personable approach and feel that in-person interactions still surpass
virtual communication. Only 16% of Canadians aged 20 to 49 would support
virtual technology as a viable equal to real-life. When looking at the
Canadian data by province, we see that Ontario (16% agreement) is most
in support for virtual technology equaling in-person contact, compared
to just 5 percent in the Atlantic provinces.

Among all 22 countries surveyed, the highest majority of those in
agreement that virtual interactions can be as good as in-person ones,
came from Brazil and Turkey, with 34 percent of online consumers in
agreement. On the other end of the scale, 32 percent of Germans did
feel reality and virtual interaction were equal and therefore
would be the least receptive.

To download the full 22-country findings, go to

Notes for the editor

Top two / bottom two box responses from a 7-point scale where “1” means
“disagree strongly” and “7” means “agree strongly. The survey question
asked: Please indicate how strongly you personally agree or disagree
with the following statement: “Virtual interactions with people and
places can be as good as being there in person”.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or
older in 22 countries. Online data were collected using a staggered
field start that completed in June 2015 and weighted to reflect the
demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market.
The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey,
UK and USA.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit
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PUNCH Canada
Emma Cauldwell, +1-416-848-6846
Stanton, 908-875-9844