Canadians Losing Faith that Businesses are Making Significant Efforts to Keep People Safe (35%, down 34 Points)

This Despite Growing Effort (50%, Up 7 Points) Among Canadians to stay Vigilant when in Public.

The author(s)
  • Becky Harris Senior Vice President, Leader Channel Performance
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Toronto, Ontario, October 21, 2020 — With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many parts of the country, health and safety measures continue to be at the forefront of customer thoughts when they are selecting a store or location to visit. A new Ipsos survey asked Canadians what actions would make them feel safe when they leave their homes. While there are a lot to choose from, there are several which stand out as important to a majority of Canadians, and these measures emphasize the importance of actions that are visible to consumers, such as seeing employees wiping and cleaning surfaces, or wearing masks and safety equipment.  Canadians were quite clear on this front, with nearly 3 in 5 indicating that Health and Safety practices are important in their consideration when selecting where to shop, outweighing prices and selection which only 2 in 5 Canadians stated were important.

Despite this increased focus, customers are feeling that they are putting in more effort than businesses when it comes to ensuring Health + Safety guidelines are adhered to. Only 35% of Canadians agree that businesses are making an effort, versus 69% in May. By contrast, half of Canadians stated they were putting in significant effort to stay safe, up from 43% in May. Regulations continue to vary across the country both in terms of what is required, and the status of cases. As we ride out the second wave, the ongoing challenges make it more important than ever for businesses to meet customer and employee expectations when it comes to health and safety measures.

What would show Canadians that businesses are taking Health + Safety seriously? 9 in 10 Canadians stated that the visible cleaning of high-touch surfaces (93%) and availability of hand sanitizer at entrances (90%) are important to them when selecting where to shop. Masks are also important, with Canadians indicating that it is important for staff to be wearing them (89%), for customers to be wearing them (88%), and that there should be notifications posted outside indicating the requirement (88%).

The Forces of Customer Experience analysis showed that Certainty and Control are more important to Canadians when dealing with companies than we have seen in the past, and that these feelings have a greater impact on the likelihood of a customer to return to a store than before. Consistency in delivering the right measures in a visible way will help businesses make customers feel more at ease when they visit.

There is no true leader when it comes to earning the trust of Canadians for their health and safety measures, with only 4 in 10 trusting any industry.  This is a real opportunity for many industries to step up with visible and consistent health and safety measures, and ultimately earn the trust of Canadians.

The full report goes into greater detail, enabling subscribers to see the expectations of Canadians across industries and regions, as well as for individual brands, along with a Mystery Shop component which measures the execution of health and safety measures across the country as well. To learn which industries and brands are leading, contact us for the full Health and Safety Check-Up report.

The second wave is upon us, and as temperatures get cooler and Canadians spend more time indoors while cases continue to rise, the pressure is on for businesses to keep health and safety at the forefront of their activities, so they can keep their customers coming back.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 28th and September 5th, 2020, as part of the Ipsos Consumer Health & Safety Check-Up Syndicate. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website (

For more information on this Factum, please contact:

Becky Harris
Vice-President, Leader Ipsos Channel Performance
+1 416 324 2309
[email protected]

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)
  • Becky Harris Senior Vice President, Leader Channel Performance