Report Sheds Light on Current Consumer Buying Behaviours

Value for money is top of mind for cost-conscious consumers, says a recent report by Deloitte Canada.

“Canadians are looking for value and are willing to shop around to find it — be it online or in store,” says Marty Weintraub, a partner and national retail leader at the company. “This shift in behaviour gives retailers no choice but to rethink their value proposition and focus on providing a differentiated, seamless shopping experience that resonates with today’s consumers irrespective of channel. Every touch point along the customer journey is an opportunity for retailers to deliver value, whether it’s competitive pricing, product availability, fast checkouts, free delivery, easy returns or personalized promotions.”

According to the report, four in 10 Canadians have seen their household finances worsen this year, with nearly half expecting the economy to weaken in 2024.

As a result, consumers are shopping around to stretch their dollars, visiting more stores and websites before making a purchase.

This cost-conscious behaviour is driven in part by the widespread expectation that prices will continue to rise.

However, financial and economic worries haven’t dented shoppers’ commitment to sustainability, with more than half claiming they are willing to pay a premium for products certified as socially compliant, sustainable or produced by factories that engage in employee well-being initiatives. This preference is more likely among those who are younger (aged 18 to 34) and female. On the other hand, while 70 per cent of Canadians believe retailers should be responsible for creating and selling products that don’t harm the planet, nearly half question retailers’ sustainability claims.

“To win over these cost and green-conscious consumers, it’s clear that brands and retailers have work to do,” says Weintraub. “While they develop new strategies to deliver real value for shoppers’ money and time, they’re presented with a great opportunity to invest in sustainability and educate consumers about the facts behind their products’ sustainability credentials. These efforts will face increased consumer pressure in a challenging economic environment, and those retailers that navigate this successfully will be better positioned to win in the long-term.”

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