Consumer behaviours and spending in Canada are settling into a new normal, as people adjust and learn to live with the realities of COVID-19. Canadian consumers remain uncertain not only about the economy, but also about the duration of the crisis as well. Although we’ve seen an increase in consumer spending as the weeks go by, consumers are still planning to cut their spending across most, if not all, categories.
Here are some of the ways that consumers are modifying their spending preferences.
Brands are now being held to new standards
Consumers have expectations that brands will now produce products that not only aid consumers with the current challenges, but also communicate transparently. They want to know how brands are operating during these trying times, and it’s clear that consumer buying decisions both current and future will be affected by how brands choose to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In the next year, we’re going to experience a very different retail environment in grocery stores; not only because we must now adapt ourselves to the reality of living during this pandemic, but also because it will be defined by how consumers are feeling, how they want to live or what they can afford to do.
Shopping behaviour is evolving
Consumers are now settling into a new normal. There has been a shift in where consumers are choosing to spend their money, with a dramatic shift towards online shopping from the comfort of their home. According to a study by Absolunet, online sales have doubled for Canadian brands since March 11, the day the World Health Organization announced a global pandemic. More than ever now, brand loyalty has become a low priority for consumers, and the top importance is product availability. 40% of consumers say they would rather purchase a product from a brand they’re less familiar, or completely unfamiliar with, rather than wait until the product from their brand of choice is restocked.
Following the pandemic, it is predicted that many consumers will continue to make purchases online and will be slow to return to brick-and-mortar retailers. The way Canadians shop could be forever changed, as they begin to grow accustomed to shopping online and the expectations they now have for cleanliness and store safety increase. How does this change the way grocers’ merchandise, and what does this mean for the centre store?
Will old habits die or return?
It is expected that most habits will return to normal, however, it’s certain that some of these habits developed during the pandemic will die due to the consumer discovering ways to shop that are more convenient, affordable, and accessible. The economic impact of COVID-19 will be huge, and it’s guaranteed to last a while. This has not only led to a shift in consumer spending habits, but it has also started an important conversation regarding the importance of creating a supply chain that is resilient to disruption.
It’s hard to know exactly what the future has in store while we’re still in the thick of the pandemic, but this is a time where natural health products can shine and flourish. Health is more important to consumers now more than ever.