Changes in customer buying habits
Did the Pandemic affect Canadian business? How did the pandemic create a shift in business strategies and what changes needed to be made. What did this mean for Canadian businesses?
Buying habits have been changed by the pandemic. It caused brand loyalty to fall while eCommerce has increased substantially. Due to this shift, the retailers had to change the way they manage their business to adapt to the new digital and customer trends. Canadians spent about 10% of their expenses online due to the pandemic lockdowns.
Online shopping by Canadians during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the habits of customers in terms of purchases. But how did this affect Canadian businesses?
When the pandemic started in 2020, a lot of shops closed causing people to shop online. During November 2020 and March 2021, 9% of Canadians said they made online purchases for the first time and 13% had purchased groceries for the first time.
About 82% of Canadians shopped online, and the total amount spent by them was $84.4 billion. Compared to 2018, this is a big improvement as only 74% of people shopped online with the total amount spent being $57.4 billion.
Shopping ethics and product origins in Canada
If companies consider environmental and ethical factors, customers are more likely to buy from them. According to PWC, 32% of Canadians will pay more for brands with recognized ethical practices. People are more considerate of local businesses. 57% prefer to shop locally. The pandemic caused 34% of people (aged between 18-34 years old) to support local businesses on a regular basis.
Shoppers are more focused on the origin of the items purchased which improved local shopping, since the pandemic started.
Webinars on changes to retail
Prior to the pandemic, between 2019 and 2020, there was an increase of 15% in time interacting with digital media that came to a total of almost eight hours per day according to eMarketer.
Since the start of the pandemic, the methods in which customers engaged with the retailers had changed drastically. This meant that North American retailers had to change their in-store strategies and improve their online marketing methods to align with the new customer needs.
The Retail Council of Canada and Reshift Media conducted webinars that focused on these (possibly everlasting) changes to retail. The CEO of Reshift Media, Steve Buors, led a webinar that analyzed how the way customers purchase and the consumption of digital media, throughout the pandemic, have modified the present circumstances of retail and what to expect from now on. To see the full webinar, click here.
D2C companies experienced a speedy growth
eCommerce sales has grown by 45% in 2020 (in comparison to 2019). According to eMarketer (see graph below), the numbers shown sustain that 80% of customers are expected to make at least one purchase in D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) for the next five years.