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11/01/2021

Serving the LGBTQIA+ shopper

Companies need to look beyond Pride to win over these shoppers
Rainbow 3D flag, LGBT pride 3D flag or gay pride 3D flag waving at wind,. 3D flag symbol of freedom, peace, and equality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).

To best serve Canada’s LGBTQIA+ shoppers, first you need to understand them, according to market research firm Numerator.

In the recent webinar “Beyond Pride: Understanding the Canadian LGBTQIA+ Shopper,” part of the firm’s New Frontiers series exploring Canadian consumer behaviour, Numerator consultant Hannah Libot said with the rise in social movements in recent years, consumers are demanding brands play a larger role in acknowledging and supporting social justice initiatives. This is especially true of younger consumers, with gen Z shoppers expecting brands to speak up and take more responsibility on these issues.

“This is important because gen Z shoppers are starting to mature into the marketplace and make those choices on the brands and the stores they want to buy at,” said Libot, adding that research at both a Canadian and a global level reveals a larger portion of the younger population is no longer identifying as straight. “So the issues the LGBTQIA+ community face will be incredibly important to them, as well as to their friends and family. Brands need to ensure their social initiatives resonate with the LGBTQIA+ community and the issues they face.”

Some highlights from Numerator’s recent survey of LGBTQIA+ consumers in Canada:

  • LGBTQIA+ shoppers are young, value-driven and trend-seeking—and most importantly, they make up a large part of the population (7.6% of Numerator’s panellists identify as LGBTQIA+).
  • The LGBTQIA+ shopper is educated, from a smaller household and more likely to live in a larger city.
  • The LGBTQIA+ shopper is committed to living a healthy, sustainable life and is more engaged online. However, in-store is still a viable touchpoint as these shoppers like to browse displays, and smaller-format offerings can cater to their impulse buying behaviours.
  • Close to two-thirds believe brands and retailers are doing a better job representing the LGBTQIA+ community than in previous years (Quebec and 55+ shoppers being the exception). But 72% of respondents believe brands should do more to support this community outside of Pride. By providing real, authentic support all year long, brands will be more likely to win LGBTQIA+ shoppers.

This article appeared in Canadian Grocer's September/October 2021 issue.