Canadian Shoppers More Thoughtful of Their Spending and Taking More Time to Research Online

Brands and retailers need to be prepared for this elevated behaviour, especially as they head into planning for the busy fall/winter Holiday shopping season

The author(s)

  • Naumi Haque Senior Vice President, MSU
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Toronto, Ontario, July 7, 2020 – After months of staying at home and social distancing, most Canadians have adapted to the situation and settled into new routines. Despite seeing signs that things are improving as restrictions are being lifted across the country, Canadians are still concerned about a potential second wave which will likely extend new behaviours well into 2021. This is evidenced by the results of a new Ipsos study exploring online shopping habits.

According to the study, Canadian consumers are still reacting to the financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them, with over a quarter delaying or cancelling major purchases (28%). As a result, most consumers (61%) also agree that they are being more mindful about how much they spend, and nearly half (46%) are being more cautious by spending more time researching purchases online before buying them. This will have a significant influence on their thought process and approach to shopping, especially as we look forward to a fall/winter Holiday season that is poised to be more omnichannel than ever.  Specifically, we expect consumers to conduct more transactions online and reduce their time in-store by researching in-advance, as well as using mobile search and retailer apps to make their shopping trips more efficient. 

Three-quarters (75%) of Canadians are making fewer trips to the store because of social distancing measures, half (48%) are worried about safety precautions taken by delivery companies and a third (34%) are still stockpiling food items and personal care products. The accelerated growth of digital is being felt across categories, and especially in grocery and personal care. The number of consumers using alternative grocery fulfillment options like curbside pick-up and delivery nearly doubled within a month and high consideration provides ample opportunity for future growth of these platforms.   

As companies start to make plans for the busy, make-or-break Holiday shopping season, they will need to have the latest information on shopping trends in order to make the best decisions possible and adapt to a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Any pains in operations or fulfilment today will be amplified as we head into the busy fall shopping season,” said Naumi Haque, Senior Vice President Ipsos. ECommerce Unleashed is a global syndicated study with multiple waves scheduled for the next few months that uncovers shopping habits and trends particularly with regards to online shopping behaviour in Grocery, Home Care, Personal Care, Health Care, Beauty & Cosmetics, Alcohol, Tobacco, Electronic Devices and Banking & Credit as well as subcategories within each. For more information about what is covered in the study, please visit here

About the Study

These are the results from the Ipsos eCommerce Unleashed survey (Wave 1) conducted May 14th to 27th, 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 13,500 adults aged 18-74 in Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam and the United States, 16-74 in Colombia, Mexico and Spain, 20-74 in Thailand and 21-74 in Indonesia.

The sample for this study consists of approximately 1,500 individuals in each country. The samples in Canada, is representative of the general adult population according to the most recent census data.

For more information on this release or the eCommerce Unleashed study, please contact:

Naumi Haque
Senior Vice President
[email protected]
416 843 6200

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.


The author(s)

  • Naumi Haque Senior Vice President, MSU