Canadians Increased Online Shopping Spend By More Than $2B Per Month Compared To Pre-Pandemic

(CNW Group/Money We Have)

Even as Canadians emerge from lockdown, the shift to online shopping is dominating consumer trends. A new survey from PayPal Canada shows Canadians have overall increased their monthly online shopping spend by more than $2 billion compared to pre-pandemic.

The survey, titled Trends & Spends: PayPal Canada’s 2021 Consumer Shopping Study, found on average Canadians who responded are spending $178 per month shopping online, an increase of $69 compared to pre-pandemic. Across the country, this translates to almost $5.5B in current monthly online spending and an overall increase of over $2B in monthly online spending.i

Online grocery shopping surge

When looking at where people were choosing to spend their money online, the survey noted a significant jump in online grocery shopping. An initial survey of Canadian consumers in March 2020 found that only 19 per cent engaged in online grocery shopping. In a second survey conducted in April 2020, only 30 per cent of Canadians purchased groceries onlinei. Today, our most recent survey shows that number has jumped to 49 per cent.

In looking at who’s filling up the cart, Canadian women surveyed are more likely than men to have increased how often they’re shopping online groceries (36 per cent versus men at 26 per cent). By location, Ontarians are the ones who are more likely than others to have increased how often they’re shopping for groceries online (36 per cent compared to 24-30 per cent in other provinces.)

It’s not just the grocery industry that has experienced a surge in ecommerce. Online spend grew in almost every vertical, including:

  • Home office furnishings and equipment (56 per cent), up from 42 per cent in April 2020
  • Fitness equipment, apps, or programs (41 per cent), up from 25 per cent in April 2020
  • School supplies (38 per cent), up from 23 per cent in April 2020

“Last year in April, only 44 per cent told us they anticipated shopping online more than what they were already doing. Today, that number is 59 per cent,” said Jill Cress, PayPal Vice-President, Consumer Marketing. “Looking back at how overwhelmed we were at the challenges of finding toilet paper and hand sanitizers in store last year it’s great to see that just one year later, we are turning to ecommerce for all of our needs and the data shows this shift is here to stay.”

Reinventing the future of shopping

As key industries expand their presence online, consumers believe the digital economy will become a prevalent part of daily life. Three in five Canadians (61 per cent) surveyed say they believe that cashless transactions will be part of their typical shopping experience and one in four (28 per cent) say they don’t expect to use cash five years from now at all.

Canadian consumers expect retailers to be innovative in their approach to keeping up with digital demand including offering drone deliveries (29 per cent), facial recognition for payment (25 per cent), virtual reality fitting rooms (17 per cent) and holographic representation of products (11 per cent).

Other notable findings include:

  • Shipping and delivery fears: For half of Canadians, the main deterrents to online shopping are the shipping cost (53 per cent) and the delivery time (51 per cent), as well as a preference to pick out their own products in person (50 per cent).
  • Secure solutions: One in five Canadians (19 per cent) say they are held back from online shopping because they are worried about safely transacting online.

For more data on Canadian consumer habits, please find the full study here.

SOURCE PayPal Canada


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