On July 1, Canada—our friendly neighbor to the north—will celebrate her 150th birthday. Along with our congratulations, we would like to highlight some special Canadian-based customers who have been pioneers in the Canadian digital frontier.
Some Surprising Data Points
Statistics Canada recently reported that e-commerce sales in Canada were $1.2 billion in April—a small 2.5% of the total retail sales of more than $48 billion for the month. Despite this tiny percentage, e-commerce is growing rapidly in Canada, having accounted for less than 2% of retail sales just last year.
Despite the small amount of e-commerce sales, the increase in total retail sales for the first four months of 2017 was nearly 4% according to StatsCan. This was the best year on record since tracking began in 1991! Canadians are enjoying a strong employment environment and real estate gains. We will wait and see if this growth is sustainable.
Bringing Digital Commerce Solutions to Canadian Retailers
Considering that e-commerce in Canada is not nearly as pervasive as in the U.S., it is even more exciting what strides our partners and customers have achieved in the Canadian retail environment.
Absolunet, an inRiver Platinum PRIME Community Partner is a Canadian e-commerce agency with more than 120 results-obsessed digital commerce experts. Absolunet was the inRiver Partner of the Year for North America for three years in a row and is also an inRiver Marketplace Solution award-winner for 2017 for their Magento Connector. Read more from Absolunet and read on to learn about our joint Canadian customer successes.
Key Customer Successes in Canada
Canadian lingerie retailer, La Vie en Rose, uses inRiver PIM to achieve efficiency in their product information process. When Absolunet implemented inRiver, the solution helped to greatly simplify La Vie en Rose’s international expansion, enabling them to manage unique regional requirements and tailor content for specific markets—especially in the Middle East, where the company is expanding at a phenomenal rate. La Vie en Rose e-commerce marketers have uncovered how product content enrichment and product storytelling can create great customer experiences across all sales channels.
As part of a complete digitization of Primeau Vélo, a century-old bicycle retailer, Absolunet implemented inRiver PIM to enable the creation of more enriched, granular product content. This allowed the retailer to better cater to the broad spectrum of users that make up the cycling community. By enriching product information with imagery, granular content, and better descriptions, technically minded consumers can now find their answers more quickly. Once in-store, customers frequently shop with their product needs previously identified and their smartphones in-hand. Staff utilize the website in-store as a source of valid technical information and can more effectively assist in-store customers, increasing sales.
When Canadian retailer SAIL wanted to take their in-store assortment online, they turned to Absolunet and inRiver. Within a six-month period, this outdoor retailer went from being a store-only venture to a prominent online player—offering an extensive assortment through digital commerce. Today, SAIL has an agile PIM process to support its online and offline sales channels, and experiences a faster time-to-market that positions the company for the future.
Groupe BMR, a home renovation retailer with more than 300 stores in Eastern Canada selected Absolunet and inRiver to implement a Magento e-commerce solution that will be fed with product information from inRiver’s PIM solution. The combined solution will assist BMR in capturing supplier product data, enriching that data, and releasing the resulting product information to the Magento e-commerce solution and other retail channels.
The Benefits of Product Information Management
What these Canadian success stories illustrate is how inRiver PIM enables more online merchandizing, cross-selling, and up-selling of products, while providing a user-friendly interface and other key features—such as “shop the look” functionality, hero shot imagery, and InDesign connectors for print materials. By deploying inRiver, internal teams can take advantage of Absolunet’s Magento Connector, as well as other e-commerce and CMS connectors. In addition, suppliers can be provided with access to a supplier portal for a more automated transfer of product information to the e-commerce engine and product information repository. Take a page from the playbook of these Canadian retailers and start telling perfect product stories.
Happy Birthday, Canada!
Please join all of us at inRiver in wishing Canada and her citizens a very Happy 150th Birthday. We wish all of you safe and enjoyable celebrations on July 1st!
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc