Industry News Retailers Can Use

Carefully Curated News Articles from In and Around the Retail Industry

Whether it’s retail technology, industry happenings, or even marketing your retail business, we’ve selected these articles from sources around the web to keep our readers up to date! Browse through the latest articles below!

February 2024 Issue

ICSC Report Reveals Brick-and-Mortar Stores Boost Online Sales with ‘The Halo Effect III’ [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 31, 2024

The ICSC’s latest report, The Halo Effect III: Where the Halo Shines, quantifies the impact of opening or closing physical stores on online sales and retailers’ overall performance. 

The study – the third instalment in ICSC’s industry-leading research on the halo effect of brick-and-mortar retail on online sales – proves again the power of physical retail by demonstrating that a new store boosts online sales, while a closed store impedes them, said the organization.

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Retailers to Benefit as Tourism in Canada Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Numbers [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 30, 2024

Tourism plays a significant role in the health of the retail industry in Canada.

But with the pandemic the last few years, tourism has suffered and with that the retail industry, particularly in towns that rely on tourists, has felt the pain.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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The Benefits of Choosing the Right Payment Gateway in Canada

article by Moneris, Jan 29, 2024

Canada, with its tech-savvy population and rapidly expanding digital economy, presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges for businesses regardless of their size. The payment landscape is ever evolving, with an array of options available to process transactions. From traditional credit card processors to modern digital wallets and alternative payment methods, understanding the intricacies of these solutions is essential for navigating the Canadian market successfully.

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One Yonge Mega-Development in Downtown Toronto to Include Substantial Retail Component [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 28, 2024

The One Yonge development at the Toronto Waterfront, just steps to the Financial District and other landmark sites, promises to be one of the most coveted addresses in the city for both residents and retailers.

Michael Calderone, Broker with Urban Reform Realty Inc., said availability of retail space exists in The Prestige Condos tower by Pinnacle, the first tower in the overall development.

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Leger Has Released 2024 ‘WOW’ Study of Top Retailers in Customer Experience Across Ontario, Quebec, and Western Canada [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 23, 2024

Leger has released its 2024 edition of the annual WOW In-Store study, a one-of-a-kind study in customer experience measurement.

WOW evaluates various performance indicators specific to retail businesses. Year after year, it reveals the ranking of the Ontario and Quebec retailers that offer the best in-store customer experience. This year, it has expanded to create WOW Western Canada.

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Aurora Landing Project in Fort McMurray AB Seeks Investors and Retailers as Development Planning Progresses [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 16 ,2024

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority (FMAA) is open for business in Alberta with the planned 650-acre commercial development Aurora Landing on airport campus.

The land is now available for sale, long-term leasing, or joint venture development opportunities.

Aurora Landing is projected to be one of the largest, most comprehensive mixed-use masterplans in Alberta. The project, divided into 12 parcels, is expected to span 15 years. The FMAA is currently in the pre-development phase of planning, engaging prospective joint venture partners.

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IBM Study Reveals Massive Gap Between Consumer Expectations and Retail Experiences [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 15 ,2024

A new global study from the IBM Institute for Business Value reveals a widening gap between shopper demands and the current retail offering.

“IBM’s 2024 Consumer Study has uncovered that only nine per cent of consumers are satisfied with their in-store experiences and 14 per cent with online shopping. However, there is a burgeoning eagerness among consumers to embrace AI throughout their shopping journey,” said Luq Niazi, Global Managing Partner, Industries & Global Consumer Industry Leader, IBM Consulting.

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Retail Pro International Celebrate Nayax Acquisition at NRF 2024

article by Retail Pro, Jan 14, 2024

Retail Pro International, developer of the worldclass Point of Sale and retail management platform, Retail Pro Prism, today made its first official appearance as a Nayax company at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show. Technology from Nayax and Retail Pro offers retailers unrivaled value of innovation in retail solutions like POS, payment technology, and loyalty platforms designed to help merchants improve their retail experiences and scale their business with more repeat purchases.

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Shopify Study Reveals Enterprise Shift Towards More Agile E-Commerce Platforms [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 11, 2024

Multi-national ecommerce platform Shopify, founded in Ottawa, has released a new study which finds that most enterprises are thinking about upgrading their commerce platform, but they have no patience for implementations that drag on, and they have zero tolerance for costs that run out of control.

The data was collected from 1,000 enterprises in partnership with International Data Corporation.

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Canadian Retail Sales Grew in October, Providing Insights to 2024 [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 10, 2024

Canadian retail sales grew 2.6% YOY for All Sales in October, below the rate of inflation as well as the CPI rose 3.1% compared to 2022. Discretionary spend also remains low as All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies were up a mere 1.2% YOY.

Gas prices have been decreasing in Ontario, as reflected in Gasoline Stations with a decrease of -10.4% YTD.

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Retailers in British Columbia Demand Government Action as Crime and Safety Concerns Reach Crisis Point [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 9, 2024

Retailers in Canada are increasingly more concerned about the state of Canadian cities with crime, violence and safety issues negatively impacting their businesses.

In British Columbia, it’s reached a ‘crisis point’, according to the Save our Streets (SOS) initiative, which is a new public safety coalition demanding governments step in and deal with the issue.

Since being announced in late October, the Save Our Streets coalition has grown from 30 community organizations, citizen groups, organizations and local businesses, to 59 and counting.

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Buy Now Pay Later: A Closer Look at the Trend Transforming Retail

article by Moneris, Jan 4, 2024

How often have you noticed a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option when you’re checking out items in your cart while shopping online? No, it’s not a scam. Buy Now, Pay Later is a financial arrangement that offers customers the flexibility to make purchases and defer the payment over a specified period, typically without incurring any interest. With the growing popularity of BNPL across the web, more customers are exposed to the option, but many aren’t familiar with the inner workings and benefits to both customers and businesses.

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Red Sea Attacks Add ‘Significant Cost’ to Global Shipping, Canada and Allies Warn

article by Global News, Jan 3, 2024

Canada and its allies are warning that disruptions from attacks on vessels in the Red Sea are “adding significant cost” and delays to global shipping.

A joint statement Wednesday from Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and a host of other nations reiterates condemnation of Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, noting a “significant escalation” over the past week.

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Pinterest Emerges as Platform for Luxury Retailers to Target Young Affluent Demographic [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 4, 2024

Image sharing and social media platform Pinterest has increasingly become a place for shoppers to engage in luxury retail.

Azadeh Attar, Industry Manager for Beauty for Pinterest, said a recent survey and report indicated that about 70 per cent of the luxury audience is from a younger demographic of under 35 years of age.

Attar said people come to Pinterest to find ideas and then take action by bringing those ideas to life in the real world.

“That contrasts with a lot of different places online where you tend to just go to scroll, to pass the time, to be entertained. On Pinterest people are coming with this really strong intent to act. They’re there to get something done,” said Attar. “So from a brand perspective that’s really unique and special because brands actually play a role on the platform. A really important role in that they’re solutions that help you bring an idea into reality versus on other platforms, brands and their messages can feel like an interruption sometimes,” she said.

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Heartland vs. RUN Powered by ADP: A Comparison of Payroll Solutions for Small Businesses

article by Heartland US, Jan 4, 2024

Finding the best payroll software for your business can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created this comparison between two leading payroll solutions — Heartland Payroll Solutions, Inc. and RUN Powered by ADP®.

Handing out cash on payday sounds simple, which might be why so many employers start out managing payroll in-house. But as complicated considerations arise, like withholding wage garnishments, providing health insurance and juggling tax forms, it’s no wonder small business owners see outsourcing to a full-service payroll provider as an attractive and cost-effective option.

There’s no shortage of payroll providers. Finding the best payroll software to fit your payroll needs can feel overwhelming — and finding the wrong one can cost you time, money and considerable frustration. That’s why we’ve created this comparison between two payroll solutions: Heartland Payroll Solutions Inc. and RUN Powered by ADP®.

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12 Ways to Use AI for Small Business Marketing

article by LocaliQ, Feb 1, 2024

Small business owners know the importance of marketing and advertising to drive website traffic and sales. But with limited resources and time, it can be difficult to tackle all the aspects of a comprehensive and successful marketing campaign yourself. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

AI is revolutionizing marketing by automating repetitive tasks, analyzing vast amounts of customer data, and delivering personalized experiences. In this article, we’ll explore 12 ways you can use AI for small business marketing—the right way.

What is AI for small business marketing?
Let’s start off with a few basic definitions. The definition of AI, or artificial intelligence, is “intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans.” AI is essentially the science of programming machines to be smarter than we are by making accurate predictions based on large sets of data.

AI for small business marketing is the practice of applying artificial intelligence to marketing tactics, strategies, or practices.

Take my (non-robotic) hand, and let’s learn more about AI for small business marketing together.

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SMS Marketing for Ecommerce: Tips for Texts That Convert

article by Shopify, Jan 17, 2024

Successful ecommerce brands know that an omnichannel strategy is the foundation of an effective marketing strategy. Instead of focusing on a single platform, they broadcast their message wide and far, from sharing Instagram Stories and selling on TikTok Live to sending email newsletters. This type of marketing strategy allows businesses to reach a wider audience, build a more resilient community, and engage with customers in various formats that cater to different preferences and habits.

One channel that’s remarkably effective is SMS marketing, which involves sending a direct text message to potential and current customers.SMS marketing can cut through the digital noise, alerting customers to time-sensitive offers like flash sales, personalized promotions, and timely updates such as shipping notifications. This approach can build brand loyalty and increase response rates, making SMS marketing for ecommerce a powerful tool. Explore how to integrate SMS marketing into an ecommerce marketing strategy.

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January 2024 Issue

Expert Canadian Retail Predictions for 2024, and 2023 Review [Feature Interviews]

article by Retail Insider, Jan 3, 2024

The retail sector in Canada continues to face challenges as it embarks on a new year.

Retail Insider asked three well-known experts in the industry to discuss what 2023 was like for retail in Canada and what we can expect in 2024.

Here are the thoughts of George Minakakis, author of The book, The New Bricks & Mortar, Future Proofing Retail, who also leads advisory firm Inception Retail Group; Gary Newbury, Strategic Advisor and Delivery Executive, RetailAID.ca; and Bruce Winder, author of RETAIL Before, During & After COVID-19 and President, Bruce Winder Retail.

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Free Shipping is More Important to Shoppers than Same-Day Delivery: Forrester

article by Retail Dive, Dec 28, 2023

Given the costliness of implementing same-day delivery and shipping, and consumers’ lukewarm feelings on it, the investment may not be worth it for some retailers, according to Forrester. 

A more cost-effective way to provide products quickly is buy online, pick up in store, Forrester said. Almost a quarter (22%) of U.S. online consumers are interested in buying online and picking up at the nearest store, while 27% are interested in curbside pickup and 15% seek out drive-thru pickup options, according to the report.

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The 5 Best Business Tips From Experts in 2023

article by Shopify, Dec 28, 2023

Business experts can offer outside perspectives on ways you can improve your business. The Shopify Masters podcast featured many of these experts in 2023, from venture capitalists to marketing specialists to a city economist.

And there’s one thing they all agree on: You can never know enough about your customers. It’s extremely important to continue deepening your relationship with your customers, whether that’s through community building and marketing or leveraging data and artificial intelligence.

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Returns are the Last, But Not Least, Component of a Holiday CX Strategy

article by Retail Dive, Dec 27, 2023

Returns are as much a part of the overall customer experience as purchases. Retailers are looking to get the process right this holiday season, when returns are expected to swell as unwanted gifts make their way back to stores.

Returns typically increase around the holidays, with 13% of online orders returned in November and December in 2022, according to data from Salesforce. And that number is expected to grow, according to analysis from Optoro, which expects shoppers in the U.S. to return $173 billion worth of holiday purchases, up 28% year over year.

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2023 Canadian Holiday Shopping Report Reveals Surging Demand for Discounts and Deals Amid Economic Caution [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 20, 2023

2023 Black Friday shopping in Canada reflected the economic climate and was an indicator of what we could expect for the rest of the holiday shopping season, according to the 2023 Canadian Black Friday & Holiday Shopping Report by DIG360 and the Angus Reid Group.

Current economic factors and financial concerns for the future have been dampening consumer spending in the second half of 2023. This has been creating a focus on household budgets not seen in recent memory. Black Friday deals seem to be benefiting from this macro climate.

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Canadians Shift Lifestyle and Spending Habits Amid Inflation and Climate Concerns [Study/Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 18, 2023

The EY Future Consumer Index Survey reveals deepening concerns around inflation (96 per cent) and climate change (84 per cent) are pushing Canadians to change how they live and what they buy.

“Over the last few years, there has been a gap between intention and action for both companies and consumers in their efforts to address sustainability, but the real effects of environmental change on people’s lives is narrowing that gap and sparking a new wave of change,” said Monica Chadha, EY Canada Retail Leader. “As we head into the holiday season and beyond, we’ll see more shoppers take control and do their research to optimize for both economic and environmental benefits.”

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Eco-Friendly Packaging: 6 Sustainable Packaging Ideas for 2024

article by Shopify, Dec 18, 2023

As consumers become more conscious of their shopping habits, they’re looking not only for eco-friendly products. They’re also concerned about sustainable business practices across the board.

How items ordered from Shopify businesses are packaged and shipped has a major impact on the planet—and customers are taking note.

We spoke to founders about their sustainability practices, including eco-friendly packaging options and how they’re shipping and fulfilling their orders with the environment in mind.

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Unprecedented Growth of Gift Cards in Canada: Doug Stephens Interview

article by Retail Insider, Dec 14, 2023

The North American gift card category has become an industry unto itself, with hundreds of billions in revenue and an array of new business models springing up around it.

More and more people are buying gift cards as presents during the Christmas shopping season. It’s just simply easier for them to buy gifts for people.

Doug Stephens, Founder and President of Retail Prophet and considered one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists, said the idea of gift certificates has been around for a very long time.

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EnAbling Change for Retailers: Creating a Safe Workplace

article by Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Dec 13, 2023

Employee wellbeing programs that prioritize physical, emotional and mental well-being can help to facilitate this organization-wide shift, particularly if the program is grounded in the unique perspectives and experiences of the employees themselves.

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When is the Best Time to Switch Your Payroll Provider?

article by Heartland, Dec 7, 2023

A quarter of small business owners are shopping for a payroll provider near the end of the year. Some are fed up with the bad service they’ve received. Others are frustrated by payroll platforms that are not integrated with their business’ software and hardware. Maybe a vendor’s lack of attention has resulted in costly errors and penalties. Or perhaps a business owner is just tired of doing payroll with everything else on their plate.

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Labour Shortages Cost Canadian Small Businesses Over $38 billion in Lost Revenue: CFIB Report [Video Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 7, 2023

Small businesses in Canada missed over $38 billion in revenue opportunities last year because they had to turn down or postpone contracts or sales due to labour shortages, finds a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

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Pinterest Predicts 2024 Trends in Retail and Fashion from User Activity [Feature Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 6, 2023

Close to 500 million people use the Pinterest platform to plan what’s next in their lives –  their next home, their next meal, their next trip. 

The company says that gives it unique insight into the future and what’s going to be really big, really soon.

It has released its latest Pinterest Predicts not-yet-trending report that shares emerging trends for the coming year. It’s Pinterest’s guide to what people will shop, try and buy next.

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9 Retail Trends and Predictions for 2024: What Should Merchants Prepare For?

article by Lightspeed HQ, Dec 5, 2023

Labor shortages. Inflation. AI. If you work in retail, one or more of these things have likely kept you up at night—and for good reason. The retail industry is seeing massive shifts in technology, supply chain dynamics and consumer behavior. And when you mix in economic concerns like inflation and an unpredictable job market, you find yourself in a landscape that’s rapidly changing and difficult to navigate. 

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2024 Commerce and Payment Trends Report

article by Global Payments, Dec 5, 2023

In 2023, the global economy was flashing red in key markets as high inflation and interest rates persisted. But that hasn’t disrupted the transformation we are seeing in commerce and payments.

That transformation was catalyzed by the introduction of generative AI, a technology with significant implications for the global economy. With AI and several other major trends years in the making, global commerce is poised for massive innovation and creativity across every stage of the consumer’s buying journey. And it’s none too soon. Consumer expectations are changing. The bar is higher. People want seamless buying experiences. And consumers want protection from increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.

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Top Shopping Centres in Canada Evolving Experiential Elements to Grow Foot Traffic and Tenant Revenue [Interview]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 4, 2023

Shopping centres across the country continue to evolve with initiatives being launched to enhance consumer engagement and experience, which is becoming increasingly more important for property owners.

A variety of in-mall activations are attracting more people to those centres, driving tenant revenue, and elevating the asset value of that property.

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Loss Prevention Handbooks for Retailers

article by Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Dec 2, 2023

RCC’s Loss Prevention Committee has developed a series of handbooks to provide retailers with information on de-escalation, violence prevention, security strategies, and crowd management.

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Small Businesses in Canada Battle Unfair Instagram Suspensions: A Tale of Lost Revenue and Accountability Demands [Feature Interviews]

article by Retail Insider, Dec 7, 2023

In the digital landscape where visibility is prevalent, the stories of Matt Black, the Director of Marketing & Revenue at Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection in Toronto, and Courtney Watkins, the founder of Mine & Yours, stand as a reminder of the vulnerability businesses face on social media platforms. They share their trials with unexpected Instagram suspensions by Meta, the useless appeal process and how Meta needs to be held accountable. 

Mine & Yours – ongoing struggle and revenue loss
Mine & Yours, a luxury resale boutique based in Vancouver, attributes approximately 60 percent of sales to Instagram. Watkins has battled with Meta repeatedly after her account was suspended three times without clear justification.  

The first suspension happened November 28, 2022 and two and a half months later, Watkins was able to retrieve it. The second time occurred June 8, 2023 and Meta sent an apology two weeks after and Mine & Yours again, got its Instagram back – however, three weeks later it was taken away for unknown reasons and Watkins is still fighting to get it back.

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Holiday Shoppers Spent ‘Record’ $222.1B Online: Report

article by Retail Dive, Jan 4, 2024

Adobe’s online holiday shopping projection was nearly spot on. In its October forecast for the 2023 holiday sales figures, Adobe Analytics predicted that e-commerce sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 would reach $221.8 billion, a 4.8% increase compared to 2022.

Online consumer spending increased 6% year over year in November to $123.5 billion, driven in large part by the $38 billion spent online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. The following month, shoppers drove a 3.7% year-over-year bump in online spending to $98.6 billion, according to Adobe.

While the overall holiday season drove growth in buy now, pay later sales, Adobe found that Cyber Monday BNPL purchases spiked 42.5% from last year to $940 million, marking the biggest day on record for BNPL purchases. Throughout November, buy now, pay later transactions increased 17.5% from 2022 to $9.2 billion, making it the biggest month on record for the payment method.

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Top 10 Marketing Challenges in 2024 & How to Overcome Them

article by LocaliQ, Jan 3, 2024

A new year means a slate of fresh marketing opportunities. You have the space to reimagine your strategy and expand your tactics. As you work toward bigger and better things in 2024, it’s worth watching for potential marketing challenges.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly shifting, and the next twelve months will bring some unique challenges—but it’s nothing you can’t handle with a bit of preparation and foresight.

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10 Standout Packaging Ideas for Small Businesses (2024)

article by Shopify, Dec 19, 2023

Even when a customer knows what’s inside a box arriving from their online order, there’s still an element of excitement that makes for a memorable unboxing experience. That’s because small business owners can add unique and carefully designed packaging materials—such as layers of logo-branded tissue paper or maybe brand-aligned colored packing tape to the seams of a cardboard box—to build brand awareness. The kind of cardboard, typeface, and inserts a business chooses can all provide important packing information, influence sales, and serve as a marketing tool.

The right packaging adds product value and encourages retailers to put your products on their shelves. If you’re torn on what kind of packaging you could use to introduce your small business to customers, here are some ideas.

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December 2023 Issue

How to Achieve Brand Consistency for Your Business in 2024

article by Shopify, Nov 24, 2023

What makes you recognize the jingle from a popular fast food chain? Why does a certain color palette invoke your favorite beauty brand? These elements stick in your mind because the brands behind them have been relentless about consistency.

Brand consistency is the secret to a sticky slogan or an iconic, wordless logo (think Nike’s swoosh). And achieving it isn’t just a “nice to have.” Brand consistency can raise brand equity, grow brand loyalty, and even increase sales.

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What Drives People to Panic Buy During Times of Crisis: A New Study Sheds Light on the Psychology of Consumers

article by Retail Insider, Nov 23, 2023

Fear can cause people to behave irrationally in times of uncertainty. During the pandemic, this took the form of panic buying as people flocked to stores to stock up on essential goods. Some even sought to profit off of shortages by price gouging toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

This phenomenon wasn’t just limited to a few countries or communities, either; it was a global occurrence that emptied supermarket shelves and caused significant disruptions in supply chains.

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10 Holiday Shipping Tips for Store Owners to Prepare for 2023

article by Shopify, Nov 21, 2023

Record-breaking sales are the dream for any big shopping season. But the reality is, even after you’ve made those sales, you still need to set up shipping and fulfillment processes for every order.

Luckily, this is a great shipping problem to have, and we’re here to help. This guide has all the shipping tips you need to create a seamless, customer-first shipping experience during a rush, including specific ways Shopify Shipping, Local Delivery, and Local Pickup can help you ship more orders to more places, quickly and efficiently.

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Yonge Street in Toronto Sees Resurgence in Pedestrian Traffic and Retail Diversity Post-Pandemic

article by Retail Insider, Nov 21, 2023

Since the pandemic, pedestrian traffic on Yonge Street has steadily increased. Pauline Larsen, the executive director and chief operating officer of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, shares insights on the evolving pattern of foot traffic, the retail landscape and forthcoming developments in the area. 

“Foot traffic is running about ten to 15 percent below 2019 levels, so we are not 100 percent back at full pedestrian counts where we were before the pandemic.

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Direct to Consumer Brands Restructure Retail Strategies

article by Retail Pro, Nov 21, 2023

Remember when “As Seen on TV” products were only available by calling the number on the television screen? Products such as Chia Pet, The Clapper and even The Snuggie all became pop culture icons by infiltrating TV programming.

But as the internet took off around the turn of the century, companies found less expensive and more strategic ways to sell their products. Enter Warby Parker, Everlane and Casper, which made up the first generation of digitally native DTC companies.

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ERP and CRM Integration

article by Priority Software, Nov 20, 2023

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and customer relationship management (CRM) tools are essential for successful digital transformation and automating multiple manual processes. While there are differences between ERP and CRM, they can work together in tandem to offer a number of different benefits across a business.

They help reduce data redundancies, eliminate human errors, and streamline different business processes for increased productivity and operational efficiency.

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Crunch Time for Canadian Retail: Consumers Demand More as Retailers Brace for a Challenging Holiday [Report]

article by Retail Insider, Nov 16, 2023

Canadian retailers face a bleak holiday season unless they can tempt shoppers with price cuts and incentives, according to a new survey by KPMG in Canada.

The survey found that more than eight in 10 consumers plan to tighten their belts as retailers face pressure to improve loyalty programs and customer experience.

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How to Prepare for Peak Shopping Season

article by Global Payments, Nov 13, 2023

The 2023 holiday shopping season is underway and online sales are expected to reach $1.19 trillion globally in just two months.

In this article, we highlight strategies to help you meet customer expectations and generate revenue during this year’s peak shopping season.

Here are four ways to boost sales this holiday shopping season.

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Quiet Luxury Gains Traction in Canada as the Market Matures, While Some Continue to Embrace Flashy Logos

article by Retail Insider, Nov 14, 2023

Quiet luxury is growing in Canada as consumers are on the hunt for high-quality products they can resonate with, without being overly flashy. Michael Warwick, Partner of B Hemmings & Co.; Ian Rosen, President and Chief Operating Officer at Harry Rosen; and Craig Patterson, Publisher and Owner of Retail Insider discuss the growing trend, challenges and the future of quiet luxury in Canada.

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Retail vs. Ecommerce: How Are They Different? (2024)

article by Shopify, Nov 13, 2023

Online retailers continue to grow in popularity and profitability, accounting for nearly 21% of retail sales worldwide. But that’s not to say physical retail stores are falling behind.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that retailers opened physical stores at a more rapid pace than expected after the pandemic. Brands like Target, DSW, and Macy’s have seen success in opening smaller footprint stores, like showrooms and popups, as shoppers’ return to brick-and-mortar in 2023

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Decline of Downtown Retail: Exploring Edmonton’s Struggle and the Impact on Canadian Cities [Podcast]

article by Retail Insider, Nov 12, 2023

Craig and Lee delve into the dynamics of downtown retail, honing in on Edmonton in this episode of The Weekly by Retail Insider. Craig, having recently traveled to visit retail landscapes from Vancouver to San Francisco, shares insights on the stark contrast between the vibrancy of suburban shopping centres and the decline of downtown cores in many North American cities. The conversation unfolds with a critical examination of factors such as the historical shift from downtown to suburbs post-World War II, the impact of major retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and the surprising downturn of once-thriving downtowns like Edmonton.

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Retailers Sound Alarm on Rising Crime in British Columbia; New Coalition SOS Urges Government Intervention

article by Retail Insider, Nov 7, 2023

Retailers in Canada are increasingly sounding the emergency alarm about the impact to their businesses and communities of a growing wave of crime and violence.

In British Columbia, retailers have joined forces to create SOS: Save our Streets, which is a new public safety coalition demanding governments step in and deal with the issue.

“Every British Columbian knows the escalation in crime and violence in our communities has reached epidemic proportions, and governments need to step up and do their jobs to make our streets safer,” said Clint Mahlman, President of London Drugs, and a founding member of SOS.

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Alberta Releases Small Business Report

article by Retail Council of Canada, Nov 7, 2023

In early 2023, RCC participated in a series of small business stakeholder engagement sessions hosted by the Alberta Jobs, Economy, and Trade Ministry, designed to better understand the challenges, needs, and opportunities of Alberta’s small businesses.

Last week the ‘What We Heard’ report was released to participants, which provides a summary of the feedback received during engagement sessions, including written submissions.

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2023 in Review: Gen AI. Open Banking. Real-Time Payments.

article by Global Payments, Oct 25, 2023

We’re in the midst of a digital revolution. This year, artificial intelligence (AI) dominated mainstream news, becoming a key focus of conversation in many industries. In the meantime, emerging technologies like blockchain, real-time payments and open banking continue to accelerate. And global consumers remain hesitant to adopt digital currencies or embrace virtual worlds.

But one thing remains constant: No matter where or how consumers make a payment—online, in app, in store or a combination—they want a consistent, seamless experience across all devices and platforms, 24/7/365.

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How to Start an Online Store in 2024 (10-Step Guide)

article by Shopify, Nov 23, 2023

Starting an online store can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture, too. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, creating an online store can help you reach a wider audience and grow your business.

In this article, we’ll lead you through how to start an online store, from choosing an ecommerce platform to designing your website to launching your first product. With the help of this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful online store.

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How Canadian Companies Can Use Tech to Identify Forced Labor in Their Supply Chains [Op-Ed]

article by Retail Insider, Nov 6, 2023

Levi Strauss Canada is yet another company facing allegations of forced labour in its supply chain. The allegations, which Levi Strauss denies, centre on whether the company is working with suppliers using Uyghur forced labour. With over 27 million people worldwide in forced labour, we can expect to witness similar allegations elsewhere in the coming years.

While Canada enjoys strong protections against labour exploitation, the issue of involuntary work may hit closer to home than expected. The reality is that forced labour could have been used to produce many of our everyday items, including clothing, electronics and vehicles.

Canada has taken a significant step in addressing this problem through the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act. As of Jan. 1, 2024, companies with significant operations in Canada will be legally obligated to pay closer attention to the working conditions in their supply chains.

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120+ December Email Subject Lines for Last-Minute ROI

article by LocaliQ, Nov 20, 2023

For most people, December is a highly anticipated month. Between holidays, time off from work, family activities, and more, your customers have a ton going on!

That’s why your small business marketing should be sprinting its final stretch this December to get the most out of this year. Email marketing is the perfect December add-on to squeeze in last-minute ROI before time runs out. That is, of course, if you have a great set of subject lines to help your business take off! We’ll be helping you map out your December email marketing by answering the following:

  • What are some email subject line tips to keep in mind?
  • What email subject line ideas could your small business use this December?
  • What should you put as the subject line for your holiday emails?

Pour a cup of eggnog and get cozy with these December email subject line ideas that are sure to elevate your business.

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30 Free SEO Tools for 2024: Boost Your Optimization Efforts

article by Shopify, Nov 20, 2023

A working knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is useful for more than just search advertising and identifying smart keywords.

Search engines offer a window into our collective wants, questions, concerns, and curiosities. Knowing the basics of SEO can help you become a more effective entrepreneur, from using search volume to evaluate the demand for a product idea to establishing the empathy you need for effective copywriting.

Unfortunately, many of the best ecommerce SEO tools run $100 per month or more, which isn’t ideal if you’re a bootstrapped entrepreneur or still trying to wrap your head around SEO.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of free SEO tools (or those that have free trials) to use for everything from keyword research to backlink analysis.

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