Canadians Reluctant to Shop for Groceries Online: Survey


Good news for brick and mortar stores: while Canadians love to buy their books and music online, they are reluctant to embrace online grocery shopping, according to a recent survey cited by the Globe and Mail.

Longos toronto

About 92% of the surveyed 1,000 Canadians said they are shopping online, but only 15% of them buy groceries on the web. That puts Canadians behind the U.S. and the U.K. when it comes to online grocery shopping, according to Suthamie Poologasingham of J.C. Williams Group Ltd. She says Canadians only need to understand the convenience of such shopping to come onboard.

“With online shopping in general, even in the past with other categories, there had to be an incentive for customers to try it out, to get away from their usual habits, give it a try. And then if there was some benefit they would try it again. “I think we’re at that stage with grocery and online,” she said.

Some companies without brick and mortar stores but with delivery partners have experienced about 30% to 40% increase each month.

But there is an issue that online retailers need to address: While books can be stored in an apartment lobby or a mailbox, food has to be packaged carefully to keep from spoiling or bruising. As the Globe and Mail points out, retailers such as Loblaw and Walmart Canada have found a workaround; They have introduced click-and-collect, a program allowing customers to order their groceries online and then travel to the store to fetch the order, prepared ahead of time. According to Loblaw, 80% of customers who have tried it return for a second visit.

Do you shop for your groceries online?


  • CMfly

    Love Click-and-Collect!!!! Has really changed how we shop less time wasted in store dodging peoples carts left in the middle of the aisles 🙂

  • Are the prices the same or similar to in person shopping?

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    When i lived in the US, we would use grocery delivery all the time since it was just a few dollars more than going to the store to shop. But the prices for services here in Canada, such as Grocery Gateway, are obscene.

  • Gavin

    I’ve used Grocery Gateway in the past however the delivery charges and product prices were just too high.

    With Click-And-Collect its great. You get the same sale prices as in the flyers and pay 3$ or 5$ at pickup which is worth it. Saves a lot of time.

  • sully54

    I don’t like people so this is great for me.

  • Potzie2

    I am really picky about my meat and produce. I don’t someone just throwing my vegetables and produce into a bin. I want to select them. Since most of my grocery bill is for fresh (not packaged) foods I can’t take the risk of paying for something that might not meet my expectations.

  • iverge

    The prices are too high. They should offer price matching and flate rate $5 delivery.

  • SOB

    I like going to my grocery store especially if they r giving free samples. However, I will give one of these services a try.

  • SV650

    Neighbourhood grocery stores have been offering this service for generations. The one my parents raised me on would take a grocery order over the phone, pick the groceries, package them, deliver, and on occasion, put the perishables in the ‘fridge. They’ve moved with the times, and now offer more means to place your order, and also offer RTE meals, which I presume they’ll place in the oven on delivery.

    Nothing new here. Move along.

  • erth

    i really dislike going grocery shopping. stores constantly move stuff so you have to search, making them think i am going to buy more. i call Bull…t. i don’t buy more, i go elsewhere.
    so therefore, if i could make an order and there was free shipping and the price is comparable, i would definitely do this.

  • Dingleberry

    I would gladly pay extra on my Costco Membership if they had this. As Costco BY FAR has the worst shoppers.

  • swotam

    I used Grocery Gateway for a while years ago but found that their prices and delivery charges were too high. Also, with the increase in mobile “flyer” apps like Flipp or Rebee you can price match at stores that support it and save quite a lot of money vs shopping online.

    Online is great if you don’t care about paying less by shopping in person, or are just to busy to be bothered. Also, as another comment mentioned, for produce and meat you may prefer to pick it yourself. At the end of the day, actually going to the store and picking out the items you want is the most cost effective thing to do, especially if you price match, even if it does require interaction with other humans.

  • swotam

    This would be great but I doubt they’ll ever do it. After all, when you go to the warehouse you inevitably end up spending more than you thought you would, and if you order online and have them deliver odds are you won’t do that.

  • karinatwork

    Since online shopping came to town I don’t do nothing else.
    I have two choices in town, Save-on-Foods and Superstore. They are quite different in their approach, with my preference being Save-on-Foods because I have the choice to display only items on sale. Save-on-Foods offers free pick-up, and $ 5 delivery, while Superstore doesn’t offer delivery and pick-up costs $ 5.
    Since shopping online, my weekly grocery bill has gone down at least 25%, often more. I do only shop for what I need, and don’t get distracted by the strategically placed items and offers I did not need.

  • Victorious Secret

    Click & Collect @ Superstore is fantastic! Save time, save money, and very convenient.

  • I’m picky with my meat and produce. For this reason alone, I visit the store. But for pantry items, delivery definitely would be considered. But for the most part, we have grocery stores within walking distance so it’s nice to get out for fresh air and exercise.

  • Brad Fortin

    I’d love to do some grocery shopping online but none of the stores in my area support it. :

  • Riley Freeman

    i havent used longos but i have tried grocery gateway and the website just isnt the greatest setup. I used it prior to having a car so every 2 weeks but it’s not ideal. Perhaps they should design it as a virtual store where it has the same setup as in store with the option to search

  • Brenda

    I hate grocery shopping and would love to buy most of my groceries online especially in winter when the last thing I want to do is walk to the store.

    But the local stores I shop at don’t have online shopping, or they want you to come to the store to pick the groceries up, or they want you to spend at least $75 (my monthly bill is less than $200 and I want my groceries to be fresh), or they charge too much for home delivery, or they don’t have the selection, or they don’t have organics.

    So I do what I’ve always done and pick up a few things on my way home at stores that I pass on my commute.