The Canadian Retail Insights Report, released today by American Express, reveals that retailers across industries nationwide plan to place more of their focus on dropping prices this year to retain customers. In 2012, the Insights Report revealed that only 35 per cent of those surveyed would reduce prices to promote loyalty; this year 48 per cent say they will – a dramatic increase from the original study conducted two years ago.
Surveying decision makers in the gas, grocery, pharmacy, restaurant, fast food, apparel and general retail sectors, the report focuses on what’s top of mind for Canadian merchants, including their industry and business outlook; challenges and pain points; growth strategy; customer loyalty and acquisition; competition; and strategies for attracting customers.
Across verticals, the report shows that beyond simply slashing prices, 83 per cent of Canadian businesses will offer sales, promotions or discounts as the top strategy to promote customer loyalty, with General Retail (89%), Apparel (86%) and Grocery (85%) ranking highest. Fast Food is the only industry surveyed that plans to invest in improving customer service (92%) as its top strategy for the next 12 months, slightly ahead of dropping prices.
“Canadian merchants are clearly serious about cultivating and maintaining customer loyalty, and they’re reducing prices to get them in the door,” says Jennifer Hawkins, Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services, American Express Canada. “As a result, I expect we’ll see increased competition among retailers across all verticals as they fight to retain and reach new customers.”