Driving decisions by understanding your industry

The Canadian Retail Insights Report reveals what's top of mind for Canadian retailers

Tracking industry trends is paramount to keeping any business competitive. At American Express, we keep a finger on the pulse of the financial services industry to help us understand how to meet the needs of our Cardmembers and outperform our competitors. Equipping ourselves with knowledge is key, from understanding what our Cardmembers are looking for in a loyalty program to anticipating the financial year ahead.

The Canadian Retail Insights Report recently released by American Express reveals what is top of mind for Canadian retailers, including industry outlook, current challenges, and strategies for maintaining and growing a customer base. This data has provided insights specific to the grocery industry, giving us a valuable snapshot of grocery in Canada.

Grocers are focusing on loyalty

Across the industry, grocers are putting more effort into keeping current customers (23%) than attracting new customers (15%). Acquiring new customers is often an expensive marketing challenge and grocers are realizing the value of keeping their current shoppers happy so that they remain loyal.

To drive customer loyalty, grocers are using a number of strategies such as offering sales, promotions or discounts (85%), investing in improving customer service (66%) and expanding product offerings or services (59%).

Rising costs pose the biggest challenge

Ahead of increased competition (21%) and attracting new customers (16%), grocers say that the rising cost of doing business is their biggest challenge (24%). The grocery industry is not alone with the sentiment, as rising costs were cited as the biggest challenge across almost all industries included in the survey.

The year ahead looks positive

As a whole, retailers in Canada hold positive outlooks for the year ahead. Three-quarters (76%) have positive outlooks on their industry, while over eight-in-ten (83%) have positive outlooks on their own business over the next 12 months. When it comes to the grocery industry’s financial outlook for the year ahead, most are positive about their industry (70%) as well as their business (80%).

Using insights from how your peers are conducting business and view the marketplace can be a valuable tool and a key driver for success. For example, if you know that retailers across the industry are focusing on loyalty, this might alert you to pay special attention to your customer satisfaction and retention strategies. Realizing that you face the same challenges as your competitors might help you focus on which areas you should focus on most to overcome. Information is a valuable tool and using it correctly can help set your business apart.