The pandemic has created a divergence towards e-commerce, as brick-and-mortar stores were forced to close amid public health restrictions, prompting consumers to conduct the majority of their shopping online.
According to the results of a recent survey conducted by PayPal that polled over 1,500 Canadians, consumers are spending an average of $178 per month on online shopping. The latest results mark an increase of $69 compared to the pre-pandemic era, and amount to approximately a total of $5.5 billion spent on e-commerce in Canada.
The poll found that online grocery shopping rose by the most, as 49% of Canadian consumers revealed they had made at least one grocery purchase online, compared to only 19% during March of last year. However, it’s not just online grocery shopping that has accelerated; overall online spending has risen sharply across nearly all retail categories, particularly in clothing, exercise equipment, home office furnishings, and even school supplies.
Indeed, according to data compiled by Statistics Canada, retail e-commerce sales were up 7.4% in April from year-ago levels, to a total of $4 billion. However, PayPal suggests that the movement towards online shopping may stay even once the pandemic subsides. “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 e-commerce for all of our needs and the data shows this shift is here to stay,” explained PayPal consumer marketing vice president Jill Cress.
The survey also highlighted that one in four Canadians are anticipating cashless transactions five years from now, with 25% expecting online retailers to offer facial recognition for payment. Similarly, 29% of those respondents foresee drone deliveries, while 17% anticipate the introduction of VR fitting rooms for online clothes shopping.
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