How Canadians Are Shopping Post-Pandemic

A new report from Yahoo Canada and Maru Public Opinion sheds light on which age cohorts prefer online shopping to the brick-and-mortar experience.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Online shopping

A majority (67%) of Canadian shoppers say they are shopping in stores less often than when the pandemic began, according to a new survey from Yahoo Canada and Maru Public Opinion.

The survey interviewed 3,025 people across Canada, weighting education, age, gender and region. Of the 67% of Canadians who are more likely to shop online were led by the oldest Canadians (aged 55+, 79%), followed by those who are middle-aged (35-54, 69%), and younger (aged 18-34, 50%). Women (70%) reported being less likely to shop in stores versus men (65%).

Those who prefer to shop mostly online (31%) are decidedly the youngest Canadians (aged 18-34, 45%), followed by those who are middle-aged (35-54, 33%) and the oldest Canadians (55+, 17%).

“Many prefer to shop online, while others are more careful with spending because of the higher cost of living or recessionary concerns,” said Maru Public Opinion in the group. “It’s also not inconceivable that middle-aged and older consumers are still reluctant to head to the mall or enclosed stores because of newly ingrained COVID crowd avoidance strategies.”

To the point of being more careful with spending, a recent report from The NPD Group found that 43% of consumers surveyed said they would be spending less this holiday season vs. 2021.

While a large chunk of Canadian shoppers say that they are less likely to shop in-store, signaling a shift to an omnichannel approach for retailers, 65% of respondents still prefer brick-and-mortar stores than shopping online. Two-thirds (65%) of Canadians say that if given a choice, they’d prefer to shop mostly in a store as opposed to mostly online. 

Those who are shopping more in stores nowadays than before the pandemic (33%) are most likely to be the youngest Canadians (aged 18-34, 50%) compared to their middle-aged (35-54, 31%) and older (55+, 21%) counterparts, while men (35%) are also more likely than women (30%) to shop in-store.

The full survey can be found here.