Peak season is a moment of truth for retailers around the world. From operational efficiency and checkout optimization to customer service and loyalty, it simultaneously exposes businesses’ strengths and weaknesses in the space of a few thrilling, chaotic, intense weeks.
So how should retailers throughout Vancouver and beyond prepare?
Global financial technology firm Adyen recently released its first Canadian Holiday Report with insight into this question and more.
The 2022 report highlights consumer shopping preferences and trends, insights on the increasingly important need for integrated online and in-person payment options, and what Canadian merchants should expect on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout this holiday season.
Adyen’s survey found that younger Canadians continue to drive the popularity of online shopping while older generations largely still prefer shopping in-store—and with that has come an increased desire and need for integrated payment solutions in the emerging world of “unified commerce.”
The Canada Holiday Report, commissioned by Angus Reid, found that for 25% of consumers in BC, the checkout process impacts their purchasing decisions when spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
According to the report, on average more than one-third are more likely to do their holiday shopping at stores that offer integrated in-store and online payments—but it is a number that is quite different for each age group.
“Younger Canadians are more likely to shop at stores that offer integrated payments, signalling a shift from older Canadians, who are more likely to say it makes no difference,” the report observes.
“The retail industry is evolving, and we must recognize the changing needs and desires of Canadian shoppers at every age,” stated Adyen Canada Country Manager Sander Meijers. “This holiday season, retailers will need to double down on their payment processes to ensure that they are meeting shoppers where they are—whether it’s online, in-person, or both.”
Another important factor for many consumers in BC when shopping online is seamless in-store and online return processes.
“A seamless retail experience means convenience at every touchpoint, including speedy checkouts and convenient returns,” explains Meijers.
Ultimately, Canadians are a loyal breed, and the number-one factor for British Columbian consumers is shopping at a store they have past experience with.
“More than half of Canadian shoppers indicate loyalty is the single-most important factor when deciding where to shop this holiday season,” Adyen reports. And in a rare moment of unity, “Young Canadians and older Canadians were aligned with the importance of brand loyalty.”
What drives loyalty, though, again splinters by age.
“How Millennials and Gen Z prefer to shop versus Boomers and the older Canadian population directly impacts which brands they’re loyal to,” Meijers says.
With BC consumers ready to throw down a lot of money, getting these commerce experience details can make or break spending season for retail brands, Adyen believes.
“From a consistent and speedy checkout experience for customers to shopper authentication and fraud prevention, the state of your payments setup can be incredibly influential during sales season,” affirms Martine de Visscher, Vice President of Product Mid-Market for the Netherlands-born company.
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