Salesforce Canada Says That 7 In 10 Canadians Miss Shopping In-Store

Convenience and safety were Canadians’ top priorities as they adapted to new shopping behaviours in 2020. Retailers in turn were forced to innovate and adopt in order to meet changing consumer expectations. New research from Salesforce Canada reveals the new year brings a fresh appetite for physical stores and excitement for new retail experiences once restrictions permit. In fact, 82% of Canadians plan to resume shopping in-store when they begin to re-open more permanently. 

In a bit of a departure for me, here are the complete survey results:

Q1. Have you shopped using your social channels over the last year? (i.e. social commerce)

  • 6 out of 10 (59%) Canadians have never shopped using their social channels. Almost a quarter (22%) of Canadians tried it once or twice.
    • Canadian millennials (18-34 years old) were more likely than any other age group to have shopped using their social channels many times (24%)

Q2. Looking at your shopping habits over the past year, what did you try for the first time? 

  • 1 in 4 (27%) Canadians tried online shopping for the first time in 2020
    • Nearly one third (30%) of Canadians boomers (55+) tried online shopping for the first time in 2020
  • Over a third (39%) of Canadians tried curbside pick-up for the first time in 2020

Q3. If you shopped online over the past year, what features of shopping online did you see improve?

  • The top two features that Canadians saw improve with online shopping over the past year were fulfillment and delivery (27%) and easy to navigate websites (23%)
    • Canadian millennials were more likely to say that their overall online shopping experience improved (24%), compared to other age groups (18% for 35-54 yo; 14% for 55+)page1image31286848

Q4. Do you miss shopping in physical stores?

Q5. If stores were to fully re-open tomorrow, would you:

  • 44% of Canadians would shop in-store, no problem
    • An increase from 33% in June 2020
  • 37% of Canadian would split shopping between in-store and online
    • An increase from 30% in June 2020
  • 19% would only shop in-store for necessary products and services that are not available online
    • An increase from 17% in June 2020

Q6. When stores do begin to re-open more permanently, which of the following best describes the impact you expect this will have on your shopping behaviours?

  • 8 in 10 (82%) Canadians plan to resume shopping in-store when they begin to re-open more permanently
    • This increases to 9 in 10 for Canadian boomers (55+)
  • Alternatively, a third (33%) of Canadian millennials (18-34) plan to shop online primarily, even when stores re-open more permanently

Q7: Which of the following would motivate you to shop in a physical store? Please select all that apply.

  • The two most important factors that would motivate Canadians to shop in a physical store are safety measures (50%) and over-all in-store experience (46%)
    • The overall in-store experience was more important to men (52%), whereas safety measures were more important to women (55%)
  • More than a quarter (28%) of men said that a personalized shopping experience would motivate them to shop in store, significantly more than women (18%)
    • Millennials (18-34) and boomers (55+) were equally motivated to shop in-store because of a personalized shopping experience (26% each)
  • ‘Other’ responses (14%) included:
    • Being able to touch & try things on in person
    • COVID is no longer an issue; wide vaccine roll-out
    • Simply an excuse to get out of the house
    • Better access to sales & low prices

Q8: Which of the following motivates you to be loyal to a specific brand?

  • The majority (78%) of Canadians say product quality is the top reason for them to stay loyal to a specific brand, closely followed by price (71%).
  • Over a third (34%) of Canadians say that a flexible shopping experience is important to stay loyal to a specific brand, and 29% say it’s a brands’ ethics and values.
  • Word of mouth reputation did not play as big a role for brand loyalty, with only 18% of Canadians saying this would motivate them.
  • ‘Other’ responses (3%) included:
    • Local business
    • Loyalty programs & rewards o Nothing would keep me loyal

Q9: When given the choice, would you shop at a Canadian retail brand first? Yes or No?

  • 9 in 10 (91%) Canadians would choose to shop a Canadian retail brand first, if they had a choice.
    • Choosing to shop at a Canadian retail brand first is even more important for women (94%) and boomers (55+) (95%)

Q10: Which retail technology are you most excited about?

  • The top three retail technologies that Canadians are most excited about are:
    • Virtual personal shopping (25%)
    • Drones for package deliveries (23%)
    • Augmented reality (22%)

About the survey:

From January 18th to January 19th 2021 an online survey of 1,516 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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