Canadian retailers need to listen to customers on- and offline in order to thrive, says new BDO Canada report

October 09, 2019

TORONTO – Big international retailers like Uniqlo, Chloe, Laline and Muji all made Canadian debuts in the last few years, making it harder for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses to compete in the same space. A new BDO Canada Report, Retail Trends in Canada 2019-2020, notes the strongest response is to listen to customers and innovate – online and offline.

“Technology is really helping build a seamless experience for consumers and business owners when it comes to the retail industry,” says Eric Matusiak, partner and national retail leader at BDO Canada. “With the rise of data, voice, it's up to Canadian retailers to customize and enhance the customer experience and improve their own business processes.”

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

  • Market polarization – as intensity enhances, smaller businesses should focus on what they already have, including personal customer relationships, to set them apart;
  • Real estate strategy – bricks and mortar are here to stay, for now, but designing already established spaces for consumer needs and wants is shifting;
  • Digital transformation – technology is an equalizer for mid-market and independent retailers that goes beyond online stores from data-driven consumer experiences and more;
  • Omnichannel retail – integration is the news standard and younger generations expect their retail experience to be enabled by technology; and
  • Customer experience – going beyond the product and ensuring every touchpoint in the customer journey reinforces the brand.

To succeed, small and medium-sized retailers should have laser focus on the customer experience, continue to build the right workforce, identify and understand value drivers and rethink logistics strategy for solving the last mile.

To download the report, visit

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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