Press release

13 Nov. 2017 Toronto, CA

Empowered customers force Canadian retailers to re‑strategize

Only 5% of traditional retailers believe their customers are loyal and are searching for innovative approaches to stay relevant against the threat of new competitors, according to the results of an EY survey.

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Sarah Shields

EY Canada Assistant Director, Public Relations

Passionate communicator and writer. Firmly believes Vancouver summers are worth six months of rain.

New consumer standards for price and convenience cause concern for Canadian retailers this holiday season

Only 5% of traditional retailers believe their customers are loyal and are searching for innovative approaches to stay relevant against the threat of new competitors, according to the results of an EY survey.

How can retailers afford the rising price of loyalty? finds that new consumer standards for price and convenience are placing pressure on Canadian retailers to disrupt in order to remain competitive ahead of the busy holiday season and beyond.

“The holiday season is coming up fast, and customer loyalty has shifted from an emotional experience to a transaction,” says Ted Salter, EY Canada Consumer Products and Retail Leader. “Digital outlets are empowering consumers more than ever. They’re expanding into new channels and setting new consumer standards for convenience, value and experience – proving hard to match profitably and straining customer relationships with physical stores.”

Almost all (87%) retailers believe a loyalty strategy is a critical priority with just 16% saying that their traditional approach is fit for purpose. And they know that getting it wrong can be expensive; 80% say a “one size fits all” loyalty approach damages profitability.

“Retailers need to create loyalty that sticks,” says Salter. “Leveraging customer data is key to building a personalized, convenience-based approach to capture and retain customers. But research shows that too few companies are tapping into the insights available.”

The survey finds only 19% of retailers are leveraging their data and systems to understand individual customer needs and a mere 30% have the ability to use technology to personalize the offer and experience for a customer every time.

“In order to stay relevant, retailers need to prioritize diversifying product ranges, improving customer experience and providing value and convenience to be distinctive,” says Salter. “This holiday season, and beyond, the focus needs to move from buying to building loyalty.”

For more information about how retailers can foster better loyalty programs and engagement with customers, visit ey.com/loyalty

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About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

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About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.  Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.