These 3 Trends Are Shaping Retail In Canada

June 5th, 2017 | Matthew Chung, Manager, Communications and Content

Matthew Chung
Matthew Chung

Despite a steady stream of news about how digital is disrupting retail, new opportunities are opening up for bricks and mortar players, according to recent research from Corus.

At a recent ACA Webinar, Shauna Houlton, Consumer Insights Director, Corus, examined the three factors that are putting pressure on retail in Canada and looked to the opportunities in the space. The following are just some of the highlights from their study of 1,000 respondents ages 18-54 in English Canada, which she presented during an hour-long session.

The three factors putting pressure on retail:

  1. New shopping patterns
  2. Online shopping is gaining momentum, Houlton said. Half of survey respondents said they are shopping online more than they were last year and there is a consumer trend toward value.

    “Consumer preference, for the most part, is to purchase in-store,” Houlton said. “So, why are we seeing this increase in online shopping?
    “Because… in Canada, we have taught and reinforced a procurement mindset in consumers. This becomes a challenge.”

    Other key insights about shopping patterns Corus highlighted:

    • Last holiday was a watershed moment for online
    • Fifty percent of respondents say that they are going to malls less
    • The two key drivers for shopping online more are being able to “shop from home” and “avoid crowds”

  3. Social Trends
  4. Two forces are creating a perfect storm to drive online shopping, Houlton said. As a society we are lacking in time and are becoming more isolated due to the many entertainment options available to us in our homes. One-third of respondents said they are spending more time at home this year compared to last year, with that jumping to 42% of respondents for millennials.

    “We are seeing an incredibly rushed, busy society who are cocooning more at home,” Houlton said. The top two reasons given for this are “trying to save money” followed closely by “I just prefer spending time at home to going out.”

    But there is a path forward, Houlton said, which leads to the third factor.

  5. Demographic & Psychographic Drivers
  6. Houlton said there are also opportunities. For one, families report they are shopping more, enjoying shopping more and spending more time shopping this year compared to last year. Houlton also touted the opportunity to better target consumers through segmentation and presented the five types of shoppers Corus has identified.

ACA members can learn more, including the goals and motivations of Corus’ 5 segments of retail consumers, by visiting our Webinars archive and downloading the video recording and slides from Corus’ retail webinar.