Description

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends: COVID-19 – Canada market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

It has now been more than half a year since COVID-19 was officially
declared a pandemic – meaning we have learned a great deal about
how Canadians reacted to this once-in-a-lifetime event. While it was
predicted early on that the digital industry would play an important
role for consumers during the pandemic, the findings of this Report
shed more light on exactly how they responded as well as what
behaviours are the most likely to remain after the pandemic.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

In the first weeks of the pandemic, Mintel predicted that the digital tech industry would see an increase in demand as consumers spent more time at home. That did happen as expected, but there is now ample evidence to suggest that many of the behaviours sparked by the pandemic will become permanent habits.
Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview
                • Impact of COVID-19 on digital tech
                  • Figure 1: Short, medium and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on digital tech, October 2020
                • Opportunities
                  • Tech’s relevance has jumped amid COVID-19, in both purchases and behaviours
                    • Cable/satellite TV has become uniquely valuable
                      • Tech’s health capabilities have been put into the spotlight
                        • Challenges
                          • The industry is vulnerable to future economic downturns
                            • The entertainment industry is facing multiple simultaneous challenges
                            • The Market – Key Takeaways

                              • Despite supply challenges, tech companies’ sales grow amid pandemic
                                • Re-emergence will be difficult, but more predictable than early 2020
                                • Segment Performance

                                  • Revenues from big tech brands illustrate high digital sales
                                    • Figure 2: Netflix North American average paying memberships per quarter, March 2018-June 2020
                                    • Figure 3: Amazon revenues from subscription services, Q1 2019-Q2 2020
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Disposable income is up, but driven by government funding
                                    • Figure 4: Household disposable income, Q2 2019-Q2 2020
                                    • Figure 5: Household income metrics, Q2 2019-Q2 2020
                                  • Winter weather should increase demand for digital tech
                                    • Supply chain issues impact content and hardware
                                      • Canadians have become familiar with their pandemic lifestyle
                                        • Figure 6: Worried about pandemic’s effect on lifestyle, March-September 2020
                                      • Impact of COVID-19 on digital tech
                                          • Figure 7: Short, medium and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on digital tech, October 2020
                                      • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                        • Companies are trying to help consumers through the pandemic
                                          • Brands have had time to adapt products/services to a COVID-19 world
                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                            • Brands look to develop goodwill with consumers
                                              • Figure 8: Google Nest Twitter post, May 2020
                                              • Figure 9: Bell Twitter post, March 2020
                                            • Disney+ adjusts releases and viewing options
                                              • Figure 10: Disney Plus Instagram post, March 2020
                                              • Figure 11: Disney Plus Instagram post, June 2020
                                            • The newest Apple Watch can detect severe COVID-19 symptoms
                                              • Figure 12: Introducing Apple Watch Series 6 – It Already Does That, September 2020
                                            • COVID-19 forced retailers to think digitally
                                              • Figure 13: Canadian Tire Twitter post, March 2020
                                              • Figure 14: IKEA Canada Twitter post, May 2020
                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                            • Purchases made due to COVID-19
                                              • New tech behaviours since start of pandemic
                                                • How households will adjust their budgets
                                                  • Demand for entertainment content
                                                    • An intersection of health and tech
                                                    • Purchases Made Due to COVID-19

                                                      • Nearly half of consumers have purchased tech since closures started
                                                        • Figure 15: Tech purchases made since COVID-related closures, June 2020
                                                      • Smartphone sales struggle after COVID-19 lockdowns
                                                        • A quarter bought tablets, personal computers or accessories
                                                          • Figure 16: Tablet and computer purchases made since COVID-related closures, by age, June 2020
                                                          • Figure 17: Tablet and computer purchases made since COVID-related closures, by children in household, June 2020
                                                        • Video games succeeded with their key consumers
                                                          • Figure 18: Video game purchases made since COVID-related closures, by age and gender, June 2020
                                                        • Personal audio helped create more personal space
                                                          • Figure 19: Personal audio purchases made since COVID-related closures, by household location, June 2020
                                                        • Smart tech shows consumers were not looking to try new things
                                                        • New Tech Behaviours since Start of Pandemic

                                                          • Tech became a more important part of consumers lives amid COVID-19
                                                            • Figure 20: Behaviour changes compared to life before COVID-19, June 2020
                                                          • Online shopping became a necessary activity during the pandemic
                                                            • Figure 21: Online shopping more compared to life before COVID-19, by age, June 2020
                                                            • Figure 22: Online shopping more compared to life before COVID-19, by age of children in household, June 2020
                                                          • Anticipating how online shopping behaviour will change in the future
                                                            • Figure 23: Online shopping more compared to life before COVID-19, by concern about exposure to COVID-19, June 2020
                                                            • Figure 24: eCommerce activities consumers expect to continue after restrictions are loosened, June 2020
                                                          • Tech is keeping people connected with others
                                                            • Figure 25: Using video calls and social media more compared to life before COVID-19, by age, June 2020
                                                            • Figure 26: Using video calls and social media more compared to life before COVID-19, by living location, June 2020
                                                            • Figure 27: Stay in touch with Nest Hub Max, June 2020
                                                          • Digital tech was a key source for entertainment
                                                            • Figure 28: Using entertainment more compared to life before COVID-19, by age, June 2020
                                                          • Video games usage grew, but esports remains niche
                                                            • Figure 29: Playing video games more compared to life before COVID-19, by age and gender, June 2020
                                                          • Minimal boost for esports during pro sports shutdown
                                                          • How Households will Adjust Their Budgets

                                                              • Tech purchase frequency could soon slow down
                                                                • Figure 30: Tech budget cuts, June 2020
                                                                • Figure 31: Tech budget cuts, by household income, June 2020
                                                                • Figure 32: Tech budget cuts, by outlook for personal finances over the next three months, June 2020
                                                              • Leveraging low-priced options to mitigate delayed upgrades
                                                                • Some consumers will look to cut back on their monthly costs
                                                                  • Figure 33: Entertainment/telecom budget cuts, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 34: Entertainment/telecom budget cuts, by outlook on personal finances over the next three months, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 35: Entertainment/telecom budget cuts, by age, June 2020
                                                              • Demand for Entertainment Content

                                                                • Some consumers are actually running out of things to watch
                                                                  • Figure 36: I am running out of video content to watch, by subscription to traditional cable/satellite TV, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 37: I am running out of video content to watch, by age, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 38: Home is where Ignite TV is, November 2018
                                                                • Consumers signed up to access more content
                                                                  • Figure 39: Sign-ups since start of pandemic, by age, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 40: Sign-ups since start of pandemic, by household location, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 41: Sign-ups since start of pandemic, parents vs non-parents, June 2020
                                                                  • Figure 42: Audible Twitter post, March 2020
                                                                • Consumers miss their pro sports and movie theatres
                                                                  • Pent-up demand drove a successful return for pro sports in Canada
                                                                    • Figure 43: Miss watching professional sports, by age and gender, June 2020
                                                                  • Consumers miss movie theatres, but are hesitant to return
                                                                  • An Intersection of Health and Tech

                                                                    • Pandemic-specific behaviours have evolved in tech usage
                                                                      • Figure 44: Tech behaviours as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, June 2020
                                                                      • Figure 45: Cleaning tech devices more than before COVID-19, by concern about exposure to COVID-19, June 2020
                                                                      • Figure 46: Tech21 Instagram post, May 2020
                                                                      • Figure 47: Verilux Instagram post, June 2020
                                                                    • Using remote connectivity to improve tracing and healthcare
                                                                      • Figure 48: Canadian Digital Service Twitter post, July 2020
                                                                      • Figure 49: Usage of digital tech in tracing/healthcare, by concern about exposure to COVID-19, June 2020
                                                                    • Some consumers strived for personal betterment during the pandemic
                                                                      • Figure 50: Health behaviour changes compared to life before COVID-19, June 2020
                                                                      • Figure 51: Introducing Apple Fitness+, September 2020
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                        • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                          • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Terms

                                                                                About the report

                                                                                This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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                                                                                Consumer

                                                                                Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                                                Brand/Company

                                                                                Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                                                Data

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