By Ryan Flanagan, Web Journalist,,@flanaganryan

Published Wednesday, December 26, 2018 7:00AM EST 

From incredible new technologies to never-before-seen levels of personalization, Canadian shoppers can expect to see retailers paying more attention than ever to customer convenience in 2019.

There’s an economic reason for this. Retail is an ever-expanding sector in Canada, and the fight for consumers’ dollars is only getting fiercer.

Industry analysts say the intense competition means large and small retailers alike have no choice but to keep finding new and innovative ways to attract customers and keep them coming through their doors. And with so many forces pulling them in different directions to try and wring a few dollars out of them, consumers are realizing the balance of power has shifted in their direction.

Jennifer Marley, a partner at retail marketing consultancy Sklar, Wilton and Associates, cites Loblaw’s loyalty program as the leading example of this trend. She says her firm has heard far more positive feedback about PC Points than about any competitor’s similar offering – with shoppers seeming nonplussed about the information their grocery store is learning about them.

“To get personalization, you have to give access to something about you,” she said in a telephone interview.

“Letting them have access to your shopping data – customers view that as a worthy trade-off because they’re getting meaningful discounts on things that they actually want to buy.”

Marley sees blockchain and augmented reality as other technologies that could make strides into the Canadian retail scene in 2019.

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