New Research: Canadians still purchase from brick and mortar stores

New research from Totum Research and AdWest Marketing explores the differences between urban and rural Canadians relating to shopping habits, and preferences for purchasing various products and services. This national study, conducted in February 2023, was recently released with a wealth of data available.

“There is a belief that shopping habits have shifted away from bricks and mortar shopping to online commerce due to the pandemic,” explains AdWest Advertising Director Jeff Beardsworth. “This aligns with the challenging narrative over the last decade that engagement with newspapers has also shifted online. This study confirms that traditional habits don’t break as dramatically or quickly as we might think.”

The research confirms that Canadians living in rural communities continue to travel to buy products and services in person rather than through the convenience of buying online. Urban Canadians are also far more likely to purchase directly from retailers in-store. When it comes to spending habits, urban Ontarians are the biggest spenders online, with each household doling out an average of $169. In contrast, rural Atlantic Canadians proved to be the least likely to use their credit card online, with an average of only $124 in monthly online spending.

The results reaffirm that people genuinely want to buy products and services locally. As far as local advertisers are concerned, they should focus on nurturing and catering to that desire. Advertisers should use the platforms that are most likely to inspire an in-store visit, and local printed newspapers are at the top of that list.

To view the results or learn more about the study, commissioned by AdWest, conducted by Totum Research Inc., and funded in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage, visit: