How inflation is impacting consumer shopping habits

A report from Numerator finds a lot of Canadians are ready to hunt for discounts and switch brands if increases continue.

More than two-thirds of Canadians have already changed their shopping behaviour due to rising inflation, according to a new report from consumer insights company Numerator, and they are prepared to make even more changes if prices continue to climb.

Numerator polled 1,008 Canadians to get a sense on if they noticed price changes during their regular shopping trips, and how their behaviour might change if these increases were to continue.

According to the research, 93% of Canadians have noticed an increase in the price of their most-purchased groceries or household essentials in the last three months. The most common area consumers have noticed price increases is in grocery (84.8%), followed by gas (63%), dining out (35.3%) and household essentials (32%).

Looking forward, 85.6% expect these price increases to continue, something that has resulted in 67% changing their shopping behaviour in some way.

In terms of how they might continue to alter shopping behaviour if price increases continue, 60.8% say they will be seeking out more discounts and promotions if the price increase is only slightly higher. Other changes could come in the form of cutting back on non-essential spending (46.4%), switching to lower-priced brands (42.6%) and switching to lower-priced retailers (39.4%).

If the price increase were to be more significant, the same amount of people say they would be hunting more discounts, but the other changes would increase, with cutting back on spending going up to 52.7% of shoppers, switching brands rising to 50.8% and switching retailers going to 47.2%.