Although retailers now emphasize the need to bolster their digital channels, brick-and-mortar still acquires the majority of sales. In fact, 70% of Canadian retailers say that more than half of their sales come from physical stores, according to research from Deloitte and Tulip Retail.

To measure the overall health of their business, 35% of these retailers analyze absolute sales. Retailers also track their health by measuring:

  • Total channel sales, including mobile and e-Commerce (20%);
  • Sales per square foot (16%);
  • Conversion rate (14%); and
  • Average basket size (14%).

In order to boost sales across all channels, many retailers are implementing loyalty programs. In fact, 70% of retailers currently have loyalty programs, and 40% plan to spend more on these programs over the next 12 months.

Deloitte and Tulip Retail released the joint study, titled: Retail’s Omnichannel Omnichallenge, to reveal the plans, perceptions and challenges faced by Canadian retailers.

“We’re seeing retailers start to build the basis of an omnichannel strategy with in-store initiatives, but many are confused on how to start the process,” said Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail. “With these types of logistical roadblocks, retailers are slow to get their omnichannel plans off the ground, which presents even more challenges as consumers’ shopping habits continue to evolve.”

In order to keep consumers spending their money in Canadian retail stores, retailers are focusing on key initiatives, such as empowering in-store sales staff. While less than 40% of respondents have provided sales associates with mobile technology, more than 60% do believe that the role of the store associate heavily thrives on building long-term customer relationships, with technology optimizing that role.

Canadian retailers also are seeking to define their own brand experience, with 53% of respondents believing that building a more recognizable brand will enable them to stay competitive with online-only retailers. More than half (51%) are deploying more in-store initiatives to drive sales; while 47% are planning ship-from-store distribution. Almost one third (30%) also are investing in analytics to build customer loyalty.

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