Now is the time for Canadian retailers to innovate, says new BDO Canada report

September 07, 2018

TORONTO. September 7, 2018 – Nationwide store closures and the recent high-profile collapse of iconic brands, such as Zellers and Sears in Canada, send a clear message: Canadian small and medium-sized retailers need to innovate to survive and thrive, says a new BDO Canada report, “Retail Trends in Canada 2018".

“Canadian retailers are lagging behind their U.S. and U.K. counterparts on both the implementation of e-commerce and the use of data analytics,” says Eric Matusiak, partner and national retail leader at BDO Canada. “But this doesn’t have to be the case; Canada’s retailers can and should strive for more and better. Even a small retailer can enhance their customer experience and improve their business processes – without spending a lot of money.”

Retailers can future-proof their business by looking at five critical retail trends and focus areas, according to the report :

  • Technology – automation and artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, beacon technology, mobile pay and data analytics are changing the game in the retail sector;
  • Experiential retail – retailers need to let customers interact with a product and build communities that will engage current and potential customers;
  • E-commerce vs. bricks and mortar – stores are creating hybrid and omnichannel shopping experiences to reach their customers wherever they are;
  • Consumer shopping habits – Millennials, the biggest spending cohort for retailers, are influencing the shopping habits of other age demographics; and
  • Customer relationship – retailers need to develop a customer relationship management program that captures and integrates implicit and explicit customer data.

To succeed, small and medium-sized retailers should focus on a true customer-first retail design, develop an omnichannel strategy to reach their customers, implement or upgrade e-commerce, and rethink every step and stage of the value chain.

“It is now business-critical for Canadian retailers to rethink and redesign their strategy,” adds Matusiak. “Several of these trends in the industry have had enough traction to be proven, but there’s still time for retailers to adapt to them. A methodical approach is recommended: develop a holistic strategy rather than jumping on the bandwagon.”

To download the report, visit www.bdo.ca/retailtrends

About BDO

BDO Canada LLP is a leading provider of professional services to clients of all sizes in virtually all business sectors. Our team delivers a comprehensive range of assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services, complemented by a deep industry knowledge gained from nearly 100 years of working within local communities. As part of the international BDO network, we are able to provide seamless and consistent cross-border services to clients with global needs. Over 73,000 people work out of more than 1,500 offices in 162 countries, generating worldwide revenue of $8.1 billion.

BDO Canada LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership, is a member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member Firms.

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