The following resources are starting points in the search for consumer information. Some of the resources are freely available on the web. Others are Leddy Library subscriptions; if you are off-campus, you will need to sign on with your University of Windsor ID and email password. If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact Katharine Ball at (519) 253-3000, ext. 3852
- Academic Journal Articles and Books
- Market Research Reports / Consumer Research Reports
- Government Statistics
- Consumer Data
- Other Consumer Information
Academic Journal Articles and Books
Search keywords such as: consumer behaviour; consumer behavior; consumer trends; demographic trends; consumer perceptions; customer preferences. You can also search for your company or industry.
You can also combine terms to narrow your search and make your results more relevant,
e.g. consumer trends AND (online shopping OR e-commerce)
e.g. consumer perceptions AND food
e.g. retail trends AND Canada
Limit your search or search results by date
You can also limit your results to just scholarly articles in the databases
Try databases such as:
Business Source Complete
There are hundreds of recent print and e-books that may be relevant to the study of consumer behaviour. They can be found in the database OMNI on the Library's home page: https://leddy.uwindsor.ca OMNI also contains journal articles and other materials.
Market Research Reports / Consumer Research Reports
Provides reports and forecasts in areas such as digital marketing, media, advertising, retail and e-commerce, social media, demographics; global and some country coverage.
Canadian reports; overview of market size, including a five year forecast, brand share, category trends, consumer attitudes and behaviours; each report also includes downloadable consumer survey data.
An international database with both global and country level industry reports and statistics. Its focus is consumer goods and services. Under the Consumers tab, there is information on Digital Consumers, Households, Income and Expenditure, Lifestyles, and Population. Also, try the Industries tab. For your industry: go to Country Reports and select your industry sub-category and country. Information includes trends, market size and data, and competitive landscape.
Global and U.S. reports for service industries, consumer goods, food and beverage, heavy industry, life science, the public sector, and technology & media. There are also reports on demographics and consumer attitudes and behaviour. Report providers include: Kalorma, Packaged Facts, Mind Commerce, SBI Energy, Simba Information, Freedonia Focus, and Paul Budde.
A broad range of industry reports for the United States, Canada, Ontario, and China; also a few global reports. Within each report there is a section on Products and Markets which covers consumer demand and trends.
There are also reports within other databases that may of interest: Conference Board of Canada, Business Source Complete, ProQuest Business, Mergent Intellect (see First Research)
As well as the consumer information produced by the private sector, governments produce their own information that describe populations, the trends and their behaviours. It can be quite detailed, but is often a little dated. Statistics Canada is just one example:
Canadian Census of Population
Profile variables: basic demographics, education, ethnic origin, language, income, labour, religion, families and households, immigration and citizenship, and others
Profile geographies: national, provincial, county, metropolitan area, city, and smaller areas such as census tracts and dissemination areas that look at populations within a few blocks.
Topic based tabulations: these are available at many levels of geography, some down to metropolitan areas.
Statistics Canada conducts hundreds of surveys that gather consumer and industry information, e.g. the Survey of Household Spending and the Annual Retail Trade Survey. One of the easiest ways to access some of this information is to use the Statistics Canada Subjects. Select the headings of interest, e.g. Income, pensions, spending and wealth; Retail and wholesale; Business and consumer services and culture.
Finding census and survey data can be quite complicated, so you may need to contact the
Academic Data Centre. Their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the sources above contain consumer information at the industry level and/or at a variety of geographies. The data in Mergent Intellect is at the individual level.
Select Consumer Data and go to the Advanced Search. For the United States only, you can segment consumers by lifestyles, purchasing habits, hobbies, and many other variables. You can then produce mailing lists for your results.
Other Consumer Information
If you are working at the company level, make sure that you comb the company's website(s), annual reports and other reports, as well as social media accounts for information on their products, target markets, and market strategies. You may also find useful articles/company level reports from databases such as Business Source Complete and Mergent Online: see the Investext reports. They are generally financially oriented, but there are some that are more consumer and marketing focused.
If you search on Google for consumer reports, just be aware of who is producing the information. There are some decent publications out there from entities such as industry associations, consulting and accounting firms, e.g. Retail Council of Canada. To eliminate older materials, go under Tools and select an appropriate date range.
Updated: November 2022