At this point, no one should really be surprised about the popularity of online shopping. Giving people the ability to make purchases from home so that they can avoid the long line ups, difficulty finding parking and excruciating treks through busy malls is a huge plus for consumers all over the world. It’s a trend that has undoubtedly captured Canadian shoppers. And with Christmas just a few days way, most retailers are already fully aware of how much they can benefit by selling their products online.
In a recent article by Linda Nguyen of The Canadian Press via Global News, it is noted that competition among Canadian retailers picked up in 2016. And, as a result, some retailers have had to either reduce the number of their locations or close their doors in Canada altogether. Nguyen refers to this happening as the “death of the shopping mall” although the term is more hyberbole than it is reality.
She admits that online sales still make up a small portion of overall retail sales in Canada each month – approximately two percent of $44 billion. However, online shopping is growing at a pace of 15 percent each year compared to three percent growth in brick-and-mortar sales. This, according to retail industry expert Doug Stephens, is a reason that retailers desperately need to invest in e-commerce solutions.
He believes retailers should make it easy for customers to go “back and forth” between physical store locations and their websites. “The ability to serve customers online and particularly on a mobile device, to be able to ship quickly and to be able to ship either free or at the lowest possible cost,” Stephens is quoted as saying, “It’s going to very, very soon, if not already, be the price to play in retail.”
It is doubtful that online shopping will ever replace traditional shopping completely. There are obvious benefits to visiting a store in person. Trying on clothing to ensure proper fit is a perfect example of why going to the store can be preferable for certain purchases. However, retailers are continuing to lean towards incorporating more digital aspects into the store experience.
Retail strategist, Kelly Askew notes, however, that the digital enhancements currently found at many physical store locations will undergo some changes in the years to come. “(We’re going to be) moving away from some of the gimmicky and gadgetry that we’ve seen until now, like digital screens you can interact with but they don’t really add to the experience,” says Askew in the article.
Stephens states that the popularity of online shopping shouldn’t be underestimated by traditional retailers. He points out that Amazon is “continuing to disrupt retailing”. “The threat that Amazon presents is that they don’t think like a retailer,” he says, “They think like a technology innovation and data company that just happens to sell things.” As a result, Canadian retailers need to “come out swinging.”
Canadian POS Corporation can help you to come out swinging! You can take advantage of the continuing growth of online shopping popularity by investing in a sound e-commerce solution. And we certainly have one for you! For more information, call Canadian POS Corporation at 1-877-748-2884 or email us at info@localhost.