Canada recently experienced a record gain in sales, which could encourage merchants to use retail and point of sale technology to better gauge consumption. With retail accounting software, store owners can easily review their invoices and determine periodic price changes for products based on consumer demand. During May, Canadian retail sales exceeded economist projections by jumping 1.9 percent to CA$40.4 billion, according to Statistics Canada.
May's retail sales set a record by rising the quickest it had in three years, outpacing the forecasted median sales of 0.4 percent in a previous Bloomberg survey of 20 economists. Despite fears that natural disasters such as the floods in Alberta would dampen consumer demand, sales this year were 3.6 percent higher compared to May 2012. As retail consumption increased, the Canadian dollar followed, growing by 0.2 percent to an exchange rate of $1.0310 per U.S. dollar.
Motor vehicles drove surge in Canadian retail sales
After retail sales grew an average of 0.1 percent in the last six months, Bloomberg attributed this recent surge to the increase in motor vehicle sales. Nine out of 11 categories monitored by analysts expanded, with the biggest categorization, motor vehicles and parts sales, surpassing economists' predictions of 0.4 percent by reaching 1.2 percent growth. Beer, wine and liquor store sales advanced by 2.2 percent after a late start to the playoffs in the National Hockey League, while garden equipment and building supply sales rose by 3.7 percent.
Track consumer demand with retail accounting software
With Canadian retail experiencing larger than expected sales numbers, merchants should have a system that tracks all retail costs in order to best optimize operations, such as retail accounting software. Canadian buyers are bouncing back in their efforts to strengthen the country's economy, the Vancouver Sun reported.
"Reports of the death of the Canadian consumer have been greatly exaggerated," said Emanuella Enenajor, economist with CIBC Capital Markets.
In order to track consumer demand, merchants can use accounting software that will allow them to gain valuable information such as how much their revenue grew year-to-year or by quarter to measure their financial success. They can also track which products were the most popular or drove the most profits through monitoring sales and shipment numbers.
"Consumers seem to be doing much better than expected as evidenced by discretionary retail spending which is now at a new record," Enenajor said.