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Canadians Want to Prioritize Supporting Local Businesses This Holiday Season

While the assumption is that Canadians will be relying a lot more on online shopping this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey by Mastercard finds that Canadians actually want to prioritize supporting local businesses through the season and beyond, recognizing that they need more help than ever before in order to survive.

The survey found that 72% of Canadians want to shop with brands that align with their own personal values, and while they might be willing to shop in person, 73% prefer contactless shopping methods where possible.

The majority (78%) of Canadians participating in the holiday shopping season plan to make a conscious effort to be more mindful in where and how they shop. Specifically, more than three-quarters (79%) intend to support small, minority-owned (67%), women-owned (68%), and Black-owned businesses (66%) this year.

In terms of brands, Canadian consumers are prioritizing, with 80% planning to shop from local brands and 67% intending to purchase from direct-to-consumer brands. In fact, 87% of shoppers say they plan to shop at businesses they know and trust this year.

Despite the uncertain climate, Canadian shoppers do want to start shopping early, and 78% are hoping to complete their shopping online, which makes it all the more important for local brands to offer online e-commerce shopping or at least delivery and/or curbside pick-up options.

That said, although online shopping has increasingly become the preferred way for consumers to shop, two-thirds (68%) still plan to shop in stores at some point this season. In-store visits however will be drastically reduced, with more than half (55%) of Canadians anticipating conducting less in-store shopping this year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on the usual holiday celebrations, many Canadians are actually enjoying the slower-paced break, with 72% saying they’re ok with updating old traditions.

As usual, gift cards remain popular gift items over cash, and 48% of shoppers say they plan to ship more gifts to loved ones this year to avoid in-person contact.

“There’s no denying that holiday shopping will look and feel a lot different this year, especially as consumers are shopping with a new perspective and priorities,” says Sukhmani Dev, Vice President of Digital & Cybersecurity Solutions at Mastercard in Canada. “Canadians are embracing the holiday season this year with a strong desire to support local businesses and safety top of mind.”

The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mastercard from October 14-21, 2020 among 2,030 Canadian residents. Respondents were screened for credit card use.