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The 6 Best Canadian Retail Tips for 2020

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By Kayla Matthews

As a retailer in Canada, you’re probably thinking about the best ways to enjoy 2020 payoffs throughout the year. Discover six tips that could help achieve your goals. 

1. Learn About Real-Time Payments

One industry magazine recently featured a piece profiling real-time payments and the impacts they could have on retail brands’ customers. These payments allow for the immediate release of funds,  an end-to-end transaction length of approximately 15 seconds. They’re equally suited for business-to-business transactions.

PayPal is one major provider offering real-time payments in the Canadian market. It began working with customers in the banking sector, but other brands entered the space soon after. A broader rollout is on the way, making now a fantastic time to explore how real-time payments could assist your business.

2.  Increase Your Digital Ad Spend

Research shows that, for the first time, adults in Canada spend more time consuming digital media than the traditional kind. These findings highlight how YouTube and Netflix are particularly popular. People devote more than three hours each day to watching digital content on mobile devices. 

Canadian digital ad spending first exceeded traditional advertising expenditures in 2018, and it shows no signs of slowing. What might these conclusions mean for 2020 developments? They suggest a strong need to increase the attention placed on digital ads when developing a budget. 

Canadians no longer sit down in front of TVs to see ads. Instead, they’re used to marketing content before and during YouTube content and other digital media. As a retailer, there are plenty of ways to embrace the digital ad trend. 

Perhaps the most important is to make sure you’re appearing high up in search engine results. The vast majority of consumers will click pages and links that are on the first page of results when they type in keywords to seek out a product. This means that you need to appear on the first page too. SEO will help you to achieve this.

Many people are now also automatically clicking the Google “shopping” tab when they’re intending to buy. This means you can also greatly benefit from listing your products with Google shopping. This guide from FATJOE will explain exactly what Google shopping is and how to get started with it.

3. Focus on Measuring Foot Traffic 

Despite the rise in e-commerce shopping, in-store retail opportunities still pay off. Morphe Beauty, for example, is an online-only brand that plans to launch approximately 50 brick-and-mortar stores in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. 

Each location appeals to creatives, and people can book the space to film YouTube clips — after getting done up with the brand’s makeup, of course. This company proves that physical retail is not dead, merely evolving. 

As you examine how to keep in-store retail relevant in 2020, consider tracking foot traffic measurements to see if your marketing efforts yield the desired results. If your store installs sensors along with traffic-counting software, it’s possible to determine metrics such as peak traffic times and average visit lengths. 

MORPHE STORE. PHOTO: RETAIL INSIDER

4. Think About Launching a Podcast

Podcasts can make workouts more enjoyable, help a listener pass time during a commute and —  as research shows — cause stronger brand associations. The study linked brand mentions in a podcast to a 16% increase in engagement and a 12% rise in memory encoding. 

The possibilities are endless concerning which direction you might take for a podcast focused on retail. A show could become a platform for describing how to use a product, announcing new items or giving people a behind-the-scenes look at how your company chooses suppliers. 

5. Make Online Returns Quick and Free

People love the convenience of online shopping, but they may get fed up if returning an item is complicated. A recent survey polled people in 15 regions and countries — including Canada — to get their thoughts about e-commerce. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents — 73% — said the return experience affected whether they’d continue shopping with a retailer.

Some things that annoy customers when it comes to returns include delays in getting refunds or replacements and having to pay to send something back. Be mindful of these complaints if you plan to improve your brand’s online shopping experience.

SMART CART, SOBEYS. PHOTO: RETAIL INSIDER

6. Investigate Using Artificial Intelligence

It’s worth thinking about whether artificial intelligence (AI) could boost your 2020 profits. Sobeys, Canada’s second-largest grocer, recently unveiled an AI shopping cart system that scans and weighs items that people put into the basket. Consumers can also pay for goods without going through a checkout line. Instead, they use a point-of-sale card terminal on the cart. 

In-store AI technology can generate consumer interest due to curiosity and could save time for employees. Check out your budget and see if AI might fit in. 

Pursue These 6 Retail Opportunities in Canada This Year

The six tips above will help you jump into action as you make your retail 2020 plans. Adapt them to fit your needs and anticipate impressive outcomes.

Kayla Matthews is a researcher, writer and blogger covering topics related to technology, smart gadgets, the future of work and personal productivity. She is the owner and editor of ProductivityTheory.com and ProductivityBytes.com. Previously, Kayla was a senior writer at MakeUseOf and contributing freelancer to Digital Trends. Kayla’s work on smart homes and consumer tech has also been featured on Houzz, Dwell, Inman and Curbed. Additionally, her work has appeared on Quartz, PRNewswire, The Week, The Next Web, Lifehacker, Mashable, The Daily Dot, WIRED and others.

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