The year 2023 has brought its fair share of economic turbulence to Canada. While the country's economy has shown resilience due to factors such as population growth, tight labour markets, and delayed impacts of rising interest rates, many people still feel uncertain about the future.
And you can bet it’s influencing their eCommerce decisions.
As businesses navigate this changing landscape, it’s important to adapt current strategies to align with shifting consumer behaviours and preferences.
In this article, we’ll dive into these changing Canadian consumer attitudes and how you can set your business up to take them on.
Inflation's Impact on Buyer Behaviour
- Price-Conscious Consumers
Rising prices across various sectors, including food and housing, have triggered a transformation in consumer buying patterns. Canadians are becoming increasingly price-conscious, reevaluating their purchasing habits and focusing on essential items.
This shift has profound implications for businesses, as consumers are now more selective in their spending.
- Erosion of Promotions and Loyalty Bonds
The era of promotions and sale campaigns may be losing its lustre. Price increases have put pressure on consumers' wallets and, in turn, on their loyalty to brands.
Loyalty bonds that businesses have worked tirelessly to nurture and maintain are under threat as price-conscious consumers are now focused on getting the best value for their money.
Canadian Customer Expectations Around Shipping
High shipping costs are the leading cause of cart abandonment for Canadian shoppers, so they definitely warrant attention from businesses.
Moving into 2024, some trends to keep in mind are:
- Free shipping reigns supreme
When it comes to making online purchases, free shipping is still the primary decision-making factor for Canadian consumers. It's not just a perk; it's an expectation that can make or break a sale - especially when budgets are tighter.
In fact, according to our consumer behaviour report, 66.8% of Canadian shoppers said they are incentivized to buy from an online store if it offers free shipping.
- Free shipping leads to more sales and repeat customers
Offering free shipping is not just a cost; it's an investment in brand recognition and customer loyalty. Businesses that provide free shipping tend to enjoy higher conversion rates and happier, repeat customers. They also incentivize their customers to buy more: 82% of shoppers in Canada are willing to spend more to qualify for free shipping.
Canadian Customer Expectations Around Returns
Simplifying the returns process goes beyond convenience; it's a strategic move that significantly bolsters customers' confidence in their purchases.
Some current trends to keep in mind when it comes to returns are:
- Hassle-free refunds are a strategic move for your business
Providing a hassle-free path to returns not only ensures a smoother shopping experience but also sends a clear message to consumers that their satisfaction and peace of mind are top priorities for your eCommerce business.
In fact, 96% of Canadian shoppers are more likely to purchase from a brand after a positive return, exchange, or refund experience. Businesses should not underestimate this statistic.
- The rise of in-person package-free returns
In 2023, in-person package-free returns are in high demand. Canadian shoppers appreciate the convenience and eco-friendliness of this approach.
- The importance of demographic in the return process
When it comes to returns, age matters. A significant 71% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 58 are more inclined to use in-person package-free return methods, reflecting the importance of catering to different demographics.
Canadian Customer Expectations Around Purchase Financing Options
In a challenging economic climate, financing options play a pivotal role in unlocking consumers' full purchasing power. Offering flexibility in payments can make the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.
One current and important trend is making purchases using Buy Now Pay Later financing options.
The popularity of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions
A remarkable 86% of Canadians surveyed have used a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution. Businesses that do not offer this option risk losing out on a significant portion of the market.
With this financing solution only currently available through online platforms, this represents a huge opportunity for eCommerce businesses to reach an audience of buyers who normally would prefer the in-person experience.
73.5% of Canadian consumers express a higher inclination to make a purchase online if a Buy Now Pay Later solution is available. This highlights the potential for growth by catering to this preference.
Bottom Line: Tailoring the Shopping Experience for Growth
The eCommerce landscape in Canada is evolving rapidly in response to shifting consumer attitudes. Adapting to these attitudes is not just advisable – it's essential.
Whether it's providing free shipping, simplifying returns, or offering flexible financing options, tailoring the shopping experience to the Canadian market presents an opportunity for growth.
As eCommerce store business owners, the key takeaway is clear: align your strategies with the ever-changing expectations of Canadian consumers, and success will follow.
FAQs About How Canadian Consumer Attitudes Impact eCommerce Choices
A: Rising prices across various sectors, such as food and housing, have led to Canadian consumers reevaluating their purchasing habits and focusing on essential items. This price-consciousness is a response to economic turbulence and the need to make more selective spending choices.
A: Inflation is definitely impacting Canadian consumer attitudes and eCommerce trends. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Free shipping reigns supreme → 66.8% of Canadian shoppers said they are incentivized to buy from an online store if it offers free shipping.
- Free shipping leads to more sales and repeat customers → 82% of shoppers in Canada are willing to spend more to qualify for free shipping.
- Hassle-free returns are a strategic move for your business → 96% of Canadian shoppers are more likely to purchase from a brand after a positive return, exchange, or refund experience.
- The rise of in-person package-free returns.
- The importance of demographics in the return process → 71% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 58 are more inclined to use in-person package-free return methods.
- The popularity of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions → 73.5% of Canadian consumers express a higher inclination to make a purchase online if a Buy Now Pay Later solution is available.
A: To delve deeper into this topic, we recommend checking out our report in collaboration with Sezzle and Return Bear. This report is based on surveys of over 1,400 Canadian consumers, providing valuable insights into what Canadian shoppers want and how businesses can meet these expectations to boost sales and succeed in 2023 and beyond. You can access the full report here.
A: eShipper provides comprehensive shipping and logistics solutions tailored to the needs of eCommerce businesses. Our expertise can help you meet and exceed the expectations of Canadian consumers, from shipping and returns to financing options, allowing you to thrive in the evolving eCommerce landscape. Reach out to us today!
A: In-person package-free returns are in high demand because they offer convenience and eco-friendliness. This reflects the evolving preferences of Canadian consumers who appreciate hassle-free and environmentally responsible return options.