Canadian Consumers Intend to Support Local Businesses Ahead of December Holidays: Interview

Retail industry news delivered directly to you. Subscribe to Retail-Insider.

The shopping local trend has been a saviour for many struggling businesses over the past year and a half as they’ve tried to navigate the stormy economic waters caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

And as we head into the holiday shopping season, this year has become a critical period of time for local independent retailers.

Recent data from Twitter Canada found that Canadian consumers on Twitter are planning to increase their support for local businesses in 2021.

Twitter Canada Office in Toronto (Image: Twitter Canada)

It said 40 per cent of Canadians on Twitter reported they would be more likely to support local businesses. In 2021, 35 per cent of Canadians on Twitter say they plan on shopping local more often this year than they did the year prior.

Michelle Slater

“This is a big increase from last year. If we look at why Canadians are saying this, I think it comes back to the fact that we do want to see our local businesses survive and thrive, moving into 2022,” said Michelle Slater, Head of Business Marketing at Twitter Canada.

“It’s been a very challenging period for retailers. They’ve been hit hard with increasing regulations, with changing consumer buying habits, and obviously the pandemic has been rough. Knowing that Canadians want to step up and very much help support Canadian retailers is a very positive sign of how our country is coming together to support each other.”

Slater said local retailers offer a different level of service than perhaps bigger brands and chains. Shoppers can talk to the owner or family members. It gives consumers a sense of community which many people want to embrace.

Data also indicated that Canadians on Twitter have a love for branded holiday campaigns, reporting a strong appetite for holiday-related brand content on Twitter. Two-thirds of Canadians on Twitter say they want to see holiday-related content from brands on Twitter.

Rosedale BIA Supporting Local
Rosedale BIA Supporting Local – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“They’re looking for information on deals, discounts. They’re looking for holiday inspiration for gift giving. What is even more impressive is that 80 per cent of Canadians on Twitter already follow a brand. So they don’t see those ads from brands as being an interruption in their timeline on Twitter. They actually look forward to getting that information as it helps them with their holiday shopping.”

Brands are also innovating on how they’re using Twitter to build engagement and anticipation amongst their audiences.

For example, a September 14 Apple event included features like animated Twitter emojis and teaser Tweets from Apple CEO Tim Cook paired with a Twitter Topic and event pages on the Twitter side to launch Apple’s new iPhone.

Other key insights from Twitter data include:

  • Half of Canadians on Twitter say they’re more likely to participate in holiday shopping days this year;
  • 30 per cent are more likely to participate in Black Friday shopping;
  • 26 per cent are more likely to participate in Boxing Day shopping;
  • 23 per cent are more likely to participate in Cyber Monday shopping;
  • 36 per cent of Canadians on Twitter plan to spend more time shopping online in 2021 than they did in 2020.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

More From The Author

Retail in Vancouver ‘Recalibrates’ with Increasing Downtown Vacancy Rates and Suburban...

A report by Colliers shows that a slower return to the office is impacting the city's downtown while suburban retail vacancies see a downturn, though the return of tourists and cruise ships is a positive for the core.

Aussie Eyewear Retailer Oscar Wylee Continues Aggressive Canadian Expansion with 1st...

The brand says it will grow its store count quickly over the next while as it enters new markets with its value-focused optical concept.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

Follow us


all-time Popular