Mobile commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, with many consumers going to websites and dedicated apps to make purchases. According to Canadian retailers, this method of shopping is ‘the way of the future,” and it is essential that mobile technologies are adopted to meet consumer demand.
The findings come from the fifth annual Canadian Retail Insights Report conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of American Express. Between March 7th and April 5th, 2017, the report surveyed 375 Canadian restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and general retailers.
According to the report, 88 percent of businesses said competition in their respective industries has never been higher, with 74 percent saying they’ve had to work harder than in the past to retain customers.
As a result, 91 percent of businesses said they’ve been focusing on differentiating themselves from the competition in a variety of ways including mobile service offerings. To that end, 76 percent of retailers said they believe that mobile commerce is “the way of the future.” The fast food industry, in particular, had at least 90 percent of businesses who shared this belief.
“Canadian retailers are listening to what their customers want, and what they’re hearing is that consumers are demanding more from their shopping experience,” said Kerri-Ann Santaguida, vice-president and general manager of merchant services for American Express Canada, in a press release.
“Mobile has had a profound impact on the digital shopping experience. The modern consumer has a global marketplace in the palm of their hand 24/7, and this creates opportunity to engage with them at so many more touch points,” Santaguida added. “Creating a mobile commerce strategy that includes intuitive app experiences and mobile responsive design enables consumers to connect with you when and where they want to.”
Additionally, 91 percent of Canadian retailers who have adopted mobile payment technologies in the past 12 months noted that doing so was essential to remain competitive, compared to 75 percent who said so in 2016. Mobile payments are likely only going to get bigger, too, with Android Pay launching on May 31st in Canada.
However, while many retailers say they are on board with these technologies, they aren’t quite ready to actually implement them. Out of all the businesses who haven’t adopted new payment tech in the past year, the fast food industry was the most likely to do so. Thirty-one percent of these businesses said they will invest or improve their mobile payment options in the next 12 months, while numbers were significantly less for other industries, including gas (six percent), restaurant (11 percent), general retail (12 percent) and grocery (16 percent).
“It is surprising how low these adoption rates are, when online technologies have also been listed as a source of increased competition,” Santaguida said in the press release. “In order to remain competitive retailers will need to meet the changing consumer demands.