Retail: pandemic reinforces trend towards essential purchases

Canadian consumers are increasingly turning to basic goods and services over non-essential purchases like luxury brands or tech gadgets due to COVID-19, according to a new survey.

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The EY Canada survey (Ernst & Young) shows that seven in ten respondents say they have changed their types of shopping with the pandemic.

“Long before the outbreak of the pandemic, consumers had started to change their spending habits, and this trend has intensified with the current environment,” said Daniel Baer of the Consumer Products and Retail sector at EY Canada. by press release. Across the country, we are seeing new preferences emerge as consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce, seek to conduct transactions without human contact, and become more concerned about the environmental impacts associated with international supply chains. ”

About 55% of Canadian consumers surveyed said they are giving up on current trends, which means reducing their purchases of non-essential goods and services.

Socio-environmental considerations are also gaining in importance, as 47% of respondents say this is a factor when it comes time to check out. This criterion is cited less than affordability (54%), but more than health and safety (40%).

EY Canada believes that Canadian consumers increasingly want to know where the products they purchase come from, as well as the conditions of manufacture.

“To project an image of authenticity and gain the trust of consumers, companies will need to invest in their supply chain and data capabilities so that they can be transparent,” Baer said.

EY has found that the COVID-19 crisis has fostered cashless payments, non-human touch purchases, and home delivery services that are adopted by 55% of Canadian respondents.

This report is based on a survey conducted in April 2020 among 4,859 American, Canadian, British, French and German consumers.

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