How COVID-19 has changed online shopping and service expectations


Whatever your thoughts are about COVID-19 are, you can’t deny that it has likely changed how you shop or access services on a daily basis. TD Bank Group has released a survey showing how consumer expectations towards online shopping and accessing digital services has changed over the past few months. And as nice as us Canadians are thought to be, we’re less forgiving than our American counterparts when it comes to how we react to a bad digital experience.

In fact, 84% of Canadians surveyed said they will walk away from doing business with a company that provides a bad digital or online shopping experience. By contrast, only 75% of Americans said the same — which is still a high number. A whopping 80% of Canadians also expect organizations to continue to enhance their digital tools to make the customer experience better going forward. This, again, is compared to only 75% of Americans feeling the same.

As for the types of goods and services Canadians are likely to access digitally, financial services top the list. While services were starting to shift online over the past few years, the recent pandemic has no doubt forced those who resist doing banking online to do so. Interestingly enough, the convenience of having your groceries ordered online or receiving medical advice wasn’t as high on the list as one would expect given that recent push.

“We saw our customer engagement and expectations surge with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Now, the majority of our customers are regularly using our digital platforms to manage their day-to-day banking and learn more about their spending and saving. We know our customers are expecting experiences that reflect how they have adapted during the pandemic and we’re working to deliver personalized experiences in new and innovative ways, across all our channels.”

Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group

Here are a few of the goods and services Canadians were likely to purchase or access online since COVID-19 hit:

  • Financial Services: 87%
  • Clothing: 60%
  • Remote learning and/or continuing education: 54%
  • Household items (appliances, furniture): 48%
  • Financial advice as it relates to investing, budgeting, financial management: 44%
  • Medical/health advice and services: 43%
  • Home improvement items: 39%
  • Groceries: 37%

While small businesses are struggling due to the pandemic, there is good news for them as well. Since the onset of the pandemic, 47% of Canadians are likely to purchase more from small, local businesses than before. In addition, 57% of Canadians feel like their local businesses offer more digital shopping and service options than before the pandemic. Those businesses can expect shoppers to remain loyal well past the end of the pandemic for making it easier for people to shop or access their services.

About the Survey: These are some of the findings of a Leger poll conducted between October 9 and 19, 2020, on behalf of TD. For this survey, a sample of 1508 Canadians and 1594 Americans aged 18+ were interviewed using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for each of these samples was +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.  

Have your expectations for online shopping and how you access digital services changed due to COVID-19? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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