Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010 - (Page 16)

Retailers challenged to rethink traditional marketing and HR initiatives Rapid development in communications technology and its use by different generational groups is fundamentally changing the way Canadian retailers engage and interact with customers and employees. BY TALBOT BOGGS T he advent of mobile communications devices like smartphones, iphones and Blackberrys, and the emergence of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have significantly changed the behaviour of the four major demographic groups living and operating in Canadian society and the strategies retailers use to communicate with them, both as customers and employees. “There’s no doubt that retailers are shifting their emphasis from traditional marketing strategies and are becoming more actively involved in technology and social media to communicate with their customers and the public,” says Robert Daniel, Managing Director of Maritz Research Canada. “This is good, because the use of technology and social media is expanding across all the major social demographic groups, but particularly with the younger generation. For them, this is a must.” Canadian consumers are big users of technology and social media. An estimated 22 million Canadians currently use mobile devices every day to talk, surf the internet, send text messages and email on cell and smartphones. A survey conducted by Ipsos Reid for Rogers Wireless showed that Atlantic Canadians are the top mobile internet users in the country. Sixty-three per cent of Atlantic Canadians who use a mobile phone use it to access the internet for personal email and 36 per cent use it for social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Two independent studies have also shown that Canadians are big fans of Facebook. About 9.6 million Canadians use the site, third to the U.S. and the United Kingdom in that order. Canada has the largest penetration of Facebook in the world, with anywhere from 22 per cent to almost 29 per cent of the population using the popular site. The social network is changing equally as dramatically and quickly as mobile technology with the emergence of newer sites such as Yelp and SnapTell, which enable retailers to post corporate, product and service information and photos, and let consumers tell retailers about their experiences and do comparative price shopping. “The social community is not so much about transactions as it is about engagement, connecting with consumers and giving them a place to get information and resources,” says Thierry Hay-Sabourin, Senior Merchandising Manager, E-Commerce, with Best Buy Canada in Vancouver. “It’s about winning customers for life, and our efforts in the area of social community fall in line with that long-term objective.” 16 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | J A N UA R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010

Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Store Design
In Your Interest
Retail Generations
Retail Profile
Loss Prevention Supplement
Human Resources
Marketing and Advertising
Member Profile
Advertisers’ Index
You Asked Us

Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010