In what ways did consumer behaviour evolve during the pandemic?
As we navigate a post-pandemic economy, how has consumer behaviour changed?
How will Canadians adjust their spending with new economic pressures like rising inflation?
Let’s explore the findings.
When asked, most Canadians indicated that they spent more time pursuing hobbies and activities around their home through the pandemic. Complimentary to that, Canadians also found they had less of a need to re-stock their wardrobe. As we navigated the new normal, Canadians likely revamped their attire to reflect work from home and fewer in-person events to attend.
The spend within the Household group increased by 18% while other categories saw a decrease. Relatively unchanged were things essential to everyday life, like das and Convenience, as well as groceries. Meanwhile, we see a meaningful decrease in transaction count, which was observed for apparel, entertainment, restaurants, and specialty, possibly due to reduced consumer confidence and hampered desire from restrictions.
Comparing average transaction size (ATS) between 2020 and 2019, Canadians hunkered down to weather-out lockdowns and restrictions. Possibly motivated to reduce the number of trips and make the most of each one, the average transaction size went up 17% for groceries.
Overall, consumer spending has returned to pre-pandemic levels, even improving as volume is up 12% when comparing spend in July 2022 versus July 2019. However, the return is driven largely by an increase in average transaction size, up 14%, rather than transaction count, down at -2%.
Contrary to Canadian perceptions, while 67% believe they are purchasing/doing less, transaction counts are up 20%. As restrictions lift many are also eager to enjoy entertainment experiences that were not possible during the pandemic.
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In contrast to trends during pandemic, where clothing was an area Canadians cut back on, it now appears to be far from their first choice on where to save. One possible explanation is that Canadians have already saved what they can in this category during the pandemic.
Rather than spend additional disposable income on more discretionary experiences, Canadians would rather allocate it to offset the rising cost of living. Along the same vein is directing the additional funds back into the home, which aligns as many Canadians opt to continue working
Read more about the findings and access the full report here.