Have Consumer Shopping Habits Evolved?

Have you recently picked up a hobby or decided to start cooking food at home because you absolutely love it but didn’t get the time for it before?

Well … you’re not alone!

The past year has definitely impacted consumer behaviours and consequently, their shopping habits.

There are multiple factors at play here including a rise in working from home as well as fewer social interactions.

To be able to tailor their offerings to meet these evolving consumer behaviours, retailers have to truly understand what a more digital, remote world means for their business. Only then will they be able to engage their audience through the ‘right’ omnichannel experiences.

Here are some of the key changes we have observed:

The Rise of the Gen Z Consumer

As Gen Z consumers get older, they become more integral to your marketing and sales strategies.

Understanding their behaviours and preferences can help you mould the retail experience you’re looking to deliver.

Gen Z customers prefer convenience. For instance, when it comes to food preparation, Gen Z consumers have a higher tendency to use online food options, such as food delivery apps and meal kit services.

Similarly, they’re generally more tech-savvy. Research from PwC shows that Gen Z consumers are more receptive to automated checkout options, as well as other digital, self-guided experiences in-stores.

So, these behaviours can provide insights that can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to integrating technology into your business model or even revisiting your product or service offerings.

Health is High on the Priority List

A survey from Accenture shows that 50% of consumers are making more health-conscious choices and 67% are focusing more on limiting food waste.

Additionally, while consumers in Canada are making healthier choices, they’re also paying attention to what they’re buying and who that benefits.

As the pandemic has negatively impacted many local, small- and medium-sized businesses across the country, Canadians are making a conscious effort to support local businesses, restaurants, and farms.

A BDC-Ipsos survey highlights that that 96% of Canadians buy local produce to support local farmers.

More Focus on Hobbies?

As travel is limited and so is entertainment, Canadians now have more disposable income to spend elsewhere.

This is the reason why many Canadians have taken up hobbies such as playing music or painting. Global News shared that between March and August, Guitarworks, a Calgary based musical instrument store, saw a significant spike in purchases of electric and acoustic guitars.

Similarly, stores that sell materials and tools for home improvement, have seen an increase in sales as many Canadians are engaging in DIY activities. Be it a patio update or installation of new fixtures – Canadians are getting creative around their homes!

More Online Shopping and Integrated Shopping Experiences

Lastly and most importantly, the line between online and in-store shopping is blurring. Retailers are increasingly seeing how different channels and touchpoints need to come together to deliver seamless customer experiences.

Research from KPMG shows that 66% of Canadians increased their online shopping activities during COVID-19.

This increase is coupled with easy payment and pick-up options such as curbside pick-up, BOPIS, and more. So, as and when the economy reopens, a top priority for businesses, both in the essential and non-essential retail spaces, is to look into ways to bring online and physical retail together.

At Storesupport we help you develop and implement strategies to cater to the changing consumer requirements. Be it a move to e-commerce or delivering better in-store experiences, we can assist.

Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca to learn more about our solutions.

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