Shopping online

Do you shop online? Since the pandemic, surveys show more and more Canadians now shop online, accelerating a trend that had started before pandemic lockdowns. Since stores re-opened, some Canadian consumers have gone back to in-person shopping, but still more of us shop online.

I am one of those online shoppers. I’m doing much more of it than before March 2020. I used to be reluctant to do it. I used to feel like I needed to touch, try, or be in person when spending money.

Two changes happened in my life.

  • First, I moved 5 hours away from Montreal to a village, surrounded by other villages, in the country. The closest city is a 90-minute drive. There is a 90,000 people city 45 minutes from my house, but bigger-city shops are quite a drive.
  • Second, because of the pandemic I could not leave my region to shop, and most shops were closed in my province for a long while.

Where to shop online?

I do have an Amazon account, but I prefer to buy from websites attached to a brick-and-mortar store. It comforts me. In April 2020, I was looking to get a frying pan, I searched online and compared prices. I found the same model and brand on multiple websites and yet a local store sold it for much less then Amazon, The Bay or Linen Chest, so I bought it there. Since then, I have always compared prices and usually end up buying from local shops.

Living in the country, most small businesses do have transactional websites and that’s great! Buying online showed me all the products that are available here that I didn’t know about, because I did not go in the stores that had them. A new world opened to me, a local world.

Something I noticed is that packaging is much less when I buy local then when I buy from big national or international chains. Often my purchase arrives in a bag, or a box without any other packaging. I like that.

I haven’t tried to do my grocery shopping online, yet. The idea of touching, squeezing, and getting a close look at fruits, vegetables and meat is not something I’m willing to give up just yet. I like grocery shopping; to me, it’s the most fun mandatory spending I do. It’s not like paying bills, at least I can be creative when doing it.

I still spend too much money on groceries, but I waste much less food than before the pandemic, because I’m cooking more now. While grocery bills can be expensive, I find I’m wasting less food because I am eating at home more often. (I’m more aware than ever of the incredible food waste happening in Canada. I try to do my small part. And no small efforts should be neglected!)

I will continue to shop online and enjoy finding new places to shop online and in-person!

Any tips? Let me know your favourite local shops.