Skip to content

Fall 2022: What buying behaviors should retailers expect from consumers?

When the pandemic started, the whole world had to adapt to a new way of life and new habits. The periods of confinement as well as the rules of social distancing forced consumers to reimagine their shopping reflexes while imposing their new expectations. Thanks to the rise of online services, delivery and in-store pick-up, the retail industry has seen online orders explode. Retailers have also had to adapt to the new demands of shoppers by reimagining their sales spaces and ways of interacting with customers.

Two years later, we find that despite the return of in-person shopping, many consumer habits have persisted. In fact, as mentioned in PwC’s guide for retailers on shopper habits, many shoppers now want to consume locally, from socially responsible retailers while having acclimated to delivery delays, supply chain, stock-outs…

On top of that, prices have been rising dramatically and have been getting worse since May 2022. When the pandemic was over, most Canadians wanted only one thing: a return to their normal life. However, many have not been able to return to their pre-COVID habits and have instead had to start being cautious in their spending. As one of the latest Statistics Canada surveys indicates, rising prices are putting most Canadians in a bind when it comes to day-to-day expenses, with their purchasing power gradually diminishing.

Therefore, a new trend has taken root in the behavior of buyers, who are now looking to acquire goods on promotion or on sale, as a way for them to fight inflation. As mentioned in La Presse’s survey, “In order to cope with inflation, half of the respondents have looked for sales in the last six months. At the same time, 47% have purchased alternative products, brands or cheaper items, and 45% have postponed their purchase in response to rising prices, the survey reveals.”

As a result, many retailers have responded to consumer distress by aligning themselves with consumers’ wishes to buy discounted products or by offering more affordable alternatives. In fact, as David Soberman mentions in the Radio Canada article, “People are not very optimistic. And when people are not very optimistic, they are looking for ways to save money, especially in their retail shopping. So there you have to give them options.”

In summary, Canadians remain very cautious about their purchasing choices and are keeping a close eye on their wallets. For many, the crisis period is not yet over and requires that retailers adapt again to their habits which are, this time, impacted by the constant increase in prices. However, retailers are equally impacted by this inflation and are also struggling to overcome this crisis. In addition to dealing with global supply chain delays, retailers must also be mindful of the changing expectations of their consumers in order to build loyalty.

As the leading provider of Pricer electronic shelf labels in North America for nearly 15 years, JRTech Solutions is committed to providing a number of technology solutions that enable retailers to better prevent crisis periods. With the multiple features offered by Pricer’s infrared system, retailers can now better identify promotional items while ensuring accurate and attractive displays for their customers.

To understand why Pricer’s technologies are an essential aid to retailers during inflation, please read our article below: