Skip to content
Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

Globe readership insights
E-commerce and in-store shopping during COVID-19 
Research study –
May 2020

To gain insights into how Globe readers have adapted their e-commerce and shopping activities during the COVID-19 crisis, we deployed a survey to Globe Insiders, our audience intelligence panel of print and digital readers.

Following our recent study on current reader attitudes towards brand advertising, we asked people across Canada how their needs for products and services have changed and how they feel about shopping online, and in-store.

Explore our highlights to inform how you can respond to consumer needs, during Canada’s recovery phase.

What products are our readers buying online?

82% of Globe readers have purchased products or services online since the pandemic began. Here are the types of products they have recently purchased online.

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

What devices do they use for online research and purchases?

While 66% of Globe readers used their mobile devices to research or shop for products online, it’s clear that their PC has been playing a big role in the research and evaluation of products. Consumers are comfortable making the purchase on their mobile device due to the immediate convenience factor – having their phone or tablet on-hand, and often being in the location where the need arises.

PC or laptop

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights


Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights


Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

Here are the top 5 items that our readers are more likely to purchase on their mobile device:

Luxury items

Index 130

Index 109

Kitchen Supplies

Index 122

Index 94


Index 121

Index 119

Gardening Supplies

Index 118

Index 108

Sports Equipment

Index 111

Index 100

How will they shop as the economy begins to open up again?

Globe readers plan to do more or the same amount of these activities:

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

How has COVID-19 influenced Globe readers’ shopping habits and intentions?

Many of our readers have shopped online over the past few months. While Canadians will be initially hesitant to resume their in-store shopping as the economy begins to reopen, our audience has stated a strong desire to support local and small businesses.

I believe in supporting local/independent shops

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

I like to browse online before purchasing

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

I prefer to shop
online whenever possible

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

I like to compare products in-store before buying online

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

I prefer curbside pickup to going into
the store

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

I will be quick to visit shopping malls once they re-open

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

How can local and small businesses reassure customers?

The challenge

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

With many Canadians hesitant to resume their ‘in-person’ shopping habits, even though they may have a strong desire to support local shops and businesses, how can businesses reassure customers and attract them back to their stores?

What customers want

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

While people want to do more ‘in-person’ shopping, they need to feel confident that businesses are following all safety protocols for staff and customers: physical distancing measures like masks, hand sanitizer and facilitating cashless payment.

How to attract shoppers

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

With consumers wanting advertisers to return to normal messaging, your ads can now have more impact on driving store traffic by re-emphasizing the benefits of shopping in-person, such as better product evaluation, stock availability and quality customer service.

We also asked our audience about the societal, financial and lifestyle impacts they’re experiencing; who they’re turning to for trusted information about the pandemic, and their opinions about the types of communication that brands currently have in the media.

For more information from this study or the Globe Insiders panel, please contact:

Andrew Consky
Head of Research and Media Insights

Irene Corke
Manager, Media Strategy Team

Take the next step.

Get complete information about how partnering with the Globe Media Group builds your strongest connection to Canada.

Globe Insiders: E-commerce insights

351 King Street East, Suite 1600
Toronto, M5A 0N1 

© 2023 The Globe and Mail. All Rights Reserved.