Age Still Defines Preferred Shopping Habits in British Columbia

Compared to last year, more residents are purchasing groceries, items for the family and gifts in person.

Vancouver, BC [December 9, 2022] – Over the past year, there has been little movement in the preferences of British Columbians when it comes to shopping, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, more than half of British Columbians (55%) say they prefer buying things in person than online, up one point since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in November 2021.

Two-in-five British Columbians (40%, -1) say they prefer buying things online than in person.

“Practically three-in-five British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (59%) prefer online shopping,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Conversely, more than seven-in-ten British Columbians aged 55 and over (73%) prefer buying things in person.”

Some of the usual purchasing habits of British Columbians have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Majorities of the province’s residents say they are visiting stores just as often as they did before COVID-19 to purchase groceries (66%, +4), items for the home or family (57%, +5) and gifts (55%, +7).

More than one-in-five British Columbians (22%, =) are ordering groceries for home delivery more often than before the pandemic, while at least a third are relying more often on e-commerce to purchase gifts (33%, -3) and items for the home or family (36%, -2).

About two-in-five British Columbians say they are going to sit-down restaurants just as often as they did before COVID-19 for breakfast (40%, +10), lunch (43%, +15) or dinner (39%, +12).

More than half of British Columbians (52%, +7) are buying beverages or snacks to go at coffee shops as often as they did before the pandemic.

Slightly smaller proportions of the province’s residents are also partaking on two other activities in the same way they did three years ago: having a beverage or snack inside a coffee shop (43%, +12) and having a drink at a bar or pub (36%, +13).


Results are based on an online study conducted from November 14 to November 16, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]