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Retail trends: The customer engagement checklist


Customer service and a strong customer relationship management (CRM) program are among the most important competitive differentiators in retail.

While they may not have the same size and scale of a big box or major online competitor, mid-market and independent retailers can help drive sales and brand loyalty through a customer-first business strategy. Investing in the tools, tactics, and workforce needed to deliver an exceptional experience should never be undervalued.

The best way to engage with customers is to customize the relationship and your communications to their preferences, whether online or offline. Retailers should keep the following in mind.


In-store and online, remembering who your shoppers are can go a long way. Customers should only have to explain who they are, and what their issue or need is, once.

Surprise and delight

Reward customer loyalty, thank them for purchases, or celebrate birthdays with a special offer or gift.


Shoppers want a personal, unique experience. Offer services, product lines, or events that your customers can't get elsewhere.


Provide a mechanism for customers to give feedback. Whether a shopper is giving praise or criticism, respond to their reviews in a constructive, positive manner that demonstrates you appreciate their business.


Data and feedback are precious commodities. When asking for a customer's information, retailers should provide something in return, such as loyalty points or discounts.


Every interaction, from finding store locations to purchasing products, should be easy for your customers. Invest in communication channels that are interactive and provide a good user experience.


Browsing, ordering, fulfillment, and returns should be quick and convenient.

Our report, Retail Trends in Canada 2019-2020, outlines how retailers can grow their business by building strong customer relationships. Read the full report today.

BDO can help

Learn how we can help you stay competitive 

Contact our Retail industry team

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