Mindshare Canada Releases Canadian Retail Study

Mindshare Canada, the global media agency that is part of WPP, has released a new report covering the shopping behaviours of Canadians and outlines implications for the Canadian retail industry. 

Retail is undergoing a massive evolution with the growth of eCommerce, the increased expectations of customers for a better experience, and the demands of more Canadian goods and services. 

"We have retailers that are closing in Canada and not because Canadians aren’t aware of them but because the experience, the merchandising and the value are now competitive territories under threat," said Sarah Thompson, CSO, Mindshare Canada. “Canadians are on a quest for satisfaction – and the satisfaction that they are seeking isn’t just that their dollar is well spent, but also fair treatment, and enough information to support their purchase and understanding of a product. Retailers need to ensure they are attuned to the desires and needs of their customers and not guessing.”

The proprietary research identified retail shopping trends amongst Canadians and will continue to be a rolling analysis from Mindshare throughout 2019. 

Here are some of the key findings:

The top three retailers noted as the top destinations in the last three months include Walmart, Amazon and Canadian Tire

50% of Canadians already had a brand in mind when in market for a new car or electronics

40% of Canadians do not have a brand in mind when shopping for books or jewellery 

44% of Canadians shop online because convenience is extremely important to them versus 33% who shop in-store because it is convenient

¾ of Canadians shop at less than 2 grocery retailers in a given week 

21% of Canadians reported that they have Amazon Prime 

"There is a great future for retail, just not what it has been for the last twenty years. How does a physical store and an eCommerce experience complement each other and support this customer desire for satisfaction? This should be the question that all retailers are considering this year,” said Thompson. "This also will mean that retailers that are focused on only the key performance indicator of traffic need to understand that 46% of Canadians want to touch what they are going to buy but want the ease of the online experience. If you want people to walk into your store, you need to give them more than a great wall as a backdrop to an Instagram photo – it needs to satisfy their expectations.”

Other findings showcase the desire for Canadian brands including:

61% agree that it is important or very important to purchase from a Canadian brand

63% agree that it is important or very important to purchase from a Canadian retailer

As well the report focuses on the customer journey of retail and that the end destination of any retail experience is that they will tell their friends and family including 50% when they buy a new car, 42% when they take a trip and 42% when they buy furniture. 

"People talk to their friends, we often forget that as marketers and that the experience and the satisfaction created in the shopping experience from generating positive brand awareness to delivering value is the fuel to keep retail thriving in Canada,” said Thompson.

Mindshare Canada surveyed 1,000 Canadians from November 14th to November 22nd, 2018. This included 800 English Canadians and 200 French Canadians with regional, age, and gender quotas that were nationally representative of the Canadian population. 

About Mindshare

We were born in Asia in 1997, a start up with a desire to change the media world. Now we are a global agency with 116 offices in 86 countries and billings of $35bn (source: RECMA). We aim to be our clients’ lead business partner, to grow their business and drive profitability through adaptive and inventive marketing. We do this through speed, teamwork and provocation because in today’s world everything begins and ends in media. We create new things and have fun doing it. Mindshare is part of GroupM, the media investment management arm of WPP, the world’s leading communications services group. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @mindshare and and