How should retailers best take advantage of the mobile shift? Almost 28 million Canadians own cellphones, out of which nearly 14 million own smartphones. Consumers spend a lot of time on their smartphones, leading to a continual increase in online purchasing trends. Here are some statistics now shaping the Canadian online retail industry, as found by a recent study conducted by Ipsos Reid:

  • 8 out of 10 Canadians have made an online purchase in the past year
  • Younger Canadians are significantly more likely to make online purchases
  • 92% of consumers aged 18-34 have made online purchases
  • A desktop computer or a laptop is the device of choice for online shopping
  • 1 in 5 Canadian online purchasers use a smartphone for online purchasing

Interestingly enough, while it seems like consumers are constantly on their smartphones, the device of choice to shop online remains the desktop computer or laptop. Set of touchscreen smartphones 91% of consumers browse the Internet using a PC/laptop, compared to 80% using a smartphone, 47% a tablet and 37% a game console. The retail industry should keep in mind that the on-the-go trend does not apply to shopping, as consumers tend to view shopping as a time-consuming and leisurely activity.

A relevant analogy for the retail industry was stated by Robert Price, writer for the Canadian Retailer Magazine: “Mobile will become part of the retail experience in the same way that credit cards have come to power so much commerce: the technology will become so natural we might forget it’s there.” So, what does that mean for loyalty programs?

Loyalty Programs for the Canadian Market

Should companies invest in loyalty programs? The answer is a resounding yes, based upon Aimia Loyalty Lens’ research which shines a light on Canadian consumers and their loyalty trends. With 91% of Canadian consumers using loyalty cards, companies participating in loyalty programs are definitely on the right path to earning their customers’ trust.

The trend now is toward loyalty programs on mobile; it is no longer enough to offer a physical card. To keep loyal customers’ engaged, companies should adopt a loyalty mobile application, one with the ability to store digital cards. An important factor to remember is to make the loyalty mobile app easy to use, as smartphones are there to make peoples’ lives easier.

For additional reading on mobile applications for loyalty programs, click here.