As younger generations gain more “power of the purse”, Canadian businesses are seeing major shifts in what consumers care about and how they shop. Global changes in technology, shifts in the economy, and growing concern about the impact our consuming habits have on the environment has triggered consumers to support local, spend money on environmentally friendly brands, and demand more customization in their products and services.
Below are the top 10 retail trends for 2020 in Canadian shopping that we have on our radar.
1) LESS BIG BOX, MORE LOCAL SUPPORT
According to BDC, 97% of consumers decide to buy local to support the local economy. Canadians understand that helping out a local business owner will make a huge difference in the lives of their neighbours, and funnel money back into their own communities.
Furthermore, 87% of consumers believe that shopping locally is better for the environment. Consumers are more likely to spend on brands that act as stewards to the environment. This is a major retail trend for 2020 that you’re going to want to get in on.
2) SUSTAINABLE BRANDS
We are becoming more aware of the negative impact that sweatshops and unsustainable good have on our planet so Canadians feel a deep responsibility to purchase from brands that have sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices.
According to Crop, consumer’s demands for environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices are so prevalent that they’re putting pressure on “traditional” brands to keep up with the green demand. In fact, according to the Crop blog, “The mission statements and business models of an increasing number of companies indicate a clear intention to have a measurable social and/or environmental impact. Such companies are not content merely to add a sustainable element to their offer; they have made it central to their mission.” In fact, Canadian consumers demanding sustainability can help change the world.
3) RECYCLED FASHIONS
Since Canadians are environmentally-conscious shoppers, it makes sense they would choose recycled clothing instead of new, cheap, fast fashion.
A major retail trend for 20202, according to Business Insider, “the fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply and pollutes the oceans with microplastics.”
Canadian consumers know that the newer clothes they buy, the more they’re adding to the cheap style craze and ultimately contributing to environmental disaster. Recycled fashions -- otherwise known as “slow fashion” -- has taken Canadian consumers by storm. More recycled clothing brands continue to pop up across Canada -- clothing brands such as Ungalli Clothing Co., which is dedicated to “raising awareness of the negative impact of the mainstream clothing industry” and providing clothes that are “made ethically in Canada from recycled and organic materials.”
In 2020 it’s going to become easier -- and more important -- to purchase recycled, sustainable clothing.
The Girl Gang Canada supports many local business owners who sell recycled fashion. If you are ever near the GG headquarters, make sure you pop by our store and check out our large selection of clothing.
5) MOBILE SHOPPING IS ON THE RISE
90% of consumers go to the internet before making a purchase. Reviews, price, and online presence can make or break whether a brand wins a new customer. While brick-and-mortar stores have felt the drop in in-person shopping for years, the use of mobile technology to shop will continue to permeate all markets this year.
The takeaway lesson for brands: make sure your online presence is strong, encourage happy customers to leave glowing reviews, and post frequent online deals.
Surprisingly, mobile shopping even occurs when customers are in a brick-and-mortar store! If a customer has questions about a certain product, they are more likely to find answers on their phones rather than ask an in-store employee. Clearly, having a strong online presence is more important than ever.
6) PERSONALIZED, ON-DEMAND SHOPPING
For years, Canadian companies have been using segmentation to craft marketing messages to highly specific audiences and changing their offerings for particular groups of people. In 2020, personalization is going a step further. Companies are realizing that consumers are bombarded with advertisements for multiple products every single day, and consumers are choosier than ever when it comes to opening their wallets.
Canadians want products that fit their unique lifestyles, needs, and personalities. No longer are we purchasing traditional, mass-produced products, but now 75% of Canadian consumers claim to want personalized products or services, according to the BDC.
In turn, companies are responding by providing made-to-order products, tailoring their product lines to specific audience tastes and preferences, and listening to their customer’s needs more than ever. The result: a heightened focus on variety and customization, and a higher expectation from consumers.
7) CONSUMERISM AS AN ANTIDOTE TO STRESS (MORE HEALTH/WELLNESS PURCHASES AND THE TREND OF SELF-CARE)
As the general population of Canada ages, consumers are turning to brands to help them become healthier. Many consumers are balancing the demands of their careers with the needs of their families, and all that stress can add up. In turn, Canadians are spending money on their own health, wellness, and self-care.
According to BDC, 33% of Canadians are willing to pay a premium for health-enhancing products. In fact, 4 out of every 10 dollars spent on the global weight loss and diet management market are spent on wellness devices and accessories, and in 2012, about $1.3 billion in sales were spent on the health and wellness market alone.
8) CHOOSING ETHICAL BRANDS WITH TRANSPARENT BUSINESS PRACTICES.
Increasingly, Canadians want to give their money to businesses that treat their employees, their communities, and the environment well. According to BDC, 33% of consumers have researched a company’s business, social, or environmental practices in the past 12 months.
Likewise, 90% of Canadians would stop buying products from a company if they learned it was using deceptive or irresponsible business practices. And 75% of Canadians report that they would pay more for products or services from a socially responsible company.
Clearly, Canadians believe that where they spend their money has an impact on the communities around them, so responsible consumerism is the name of the game in 2020.
9) CONSUMERS ARE BUDGET-CONSCIOUS IN 2020
According to Statistics Canada, Canadian Millennials have higher debt levels than their Gen-X counterparts, and they’re more cautious when it comes to investing their money. That might be why, according to BDC, shopping trends in 2020 include a more frugal approach. “Budget-conscious consumers are choosing to share, trade, or rent goods and services rather than buying them. This usage-based consumption model is leading to new business opportunities.” (Lookin’ at you, Uber!)
Canadian businesses can use this as an opportunity to provide more value for their products, to provide online and in-store coupons, and to understand that customers are going to check out your competitors before making a purchasing decision.
10) BRAND LOYALTY IS A THING OF THE PAST (FOR THE MOST PART)
According to Yotpo, “more than a third (36.4%) of survey respondents reported that they don’t consider themselves brand loyal until they’re made five or more purchases from a brand. What’s more, nearly a third (61.1%) are loyal to a maximum of five brands.”
It’s not easy to win a customer’s heart for the long-haul, and it’s especially more difficult considering that 47% of consumers stop doing business with a brand after the company disappoints them, according to Accenture.
What can brands do to rise above the challenge of brand loyalty? Roll out a loyalty program, so your customers are rewarded for doing business with you. Do your best to be socially and environmentally responsible and tell all the world about what you’re doing to protect the environment and your local communities. Personalize your offerings whenever possible, and make sure you have a stellar online presence. After all, the changing tides of Canadian consumerism require businesses to step up to the plate, be a good neighbour, and provide real value.