Most Canadians Will Pivot From Brands To Private Labels

COVID-19 will disrupt the usual shopping attitudes and behaviours this holiday season. Ninety per cent of Canadians are choosing to shop outside their usual brands. Lokesh Chaudhry, EY Canada consumer co-leader, says, “With sudden supply chain interruptions and store closures across the globe, many consumers have had to switch up their typical buying habits to try new products and purchasing methods when their go-to brands weren't available.” When choosing a product or service, Canadian consumers are focused on price (60 per cent) and availability (40 per cent). As well, 62 per cent are thinking more carefully about how they spend their money. They are prioritizing shopping for environmentally-friendly produced items. As well, despite digital promotions and marketing communications flooding consumers inboxes, less than half of Canadian consumers say they plan to participate in sales events, with the majority (69 per cent) postponing the purchase of big-ticket items. Customers are also choosing the virtual experience for their holiday shopping, prioritizing efficiency. "Retailers must be cautioned that promotions and sales events aren't going to cut it. They'll need to take bold actions to transform how they position products like groceries, decorations, fabrics, and lights – products that consumers would typically be able to touch and feel – so they are attractive and interactive for online shoppers,” says Ryan Beck, EY Canada consumer co-leader. “Instead of enjoying the fun of the traditional physical shopping experience, consumers are focused on getting through their checklists quickly and efficiently.”