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Tech-savvy shoppers using AI to save money: Survey

Canadians are using technology to stretch their dollars
Jillian Morgan, female, digital editor for Canadian Grocer
online shopping
Majority of Canadians believe AI will improve online shopping in the future, EY reports.

As the cost of living remains high, Canadians are using artificial intelligence (AI) to stretch their budgets.

EY’s latest Future Consumer Index survey found that 71% of consumers are using the technology to identifying cheaper alternatives to costly products and services. 

"We're seeing a shift towards independent consumerism, where people are actively seeking out information, making decisions and taking actions autonomously," says Elliot Morris, EY Canada grocery and consumer packaged goods leader, in a release. "With that, consumers are becoming more self-directed and tech-savvy in their shopping journeys—leveraging AI to discover savings and create convenience."

Sixty one per cent of respondents believe AI will improve online shopping in the future. 

READ: How embracing artificial intelligence can elevate the shopper experience

Trust in AI is also growing, with 61% trusting AI to offer tailored promotions and 53% trusting it to provide purchase reminders—a 6% increase since April 2023.  

But data security remains a concern for Canadians amid recent breaches and leaks.

Concerns over ID theft have increased significantly, with 64% of respondents worried about ID theft, up from 51% in April 2023. 

Sixty per cent of Canadians are now concerned about data security. A further 59% are concerned about the company they share their data with being hacked (up from 45% in April 2023).

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"To engage today's consumers effectively, retailers should continue to prioritize the integration of AI technologies," explains Claudiane Boulay, EY Canada Consumer Marketing Leader. "But retailers can't rely on AI alone. Earning a place in their customers' circle of influence requires authentic and trustworthy connections, emphasizing the importance of human touch more than ever."

That circle includes social media influencers. EY found that 61% of Canadians have purchased a product based on an influencer’s recommendation, while only 21% responded to social media ads. Younger generations, particularly gen Z (34%) and millennials (39%), are leading this trend.

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