In order for retailers to succeed, they need consumers to be ready and willing to spend. As the Canadian economy makes its recovery from the global recession, shoppers are slowly getting back into the swing of making purchases big and small. What merchants need to remember, though, is that without the right tools, it can be easy to fall behind the competition. For this reason, vendors should deploy retail and point of sale technology to better manage increased consumer spending. By keeping track of payments accurately, as well as developing the agility to accept a wide variety of transactions, store owners can put themselves in a strong position to improve bottom lines and continually satisfy their clientele.
As an added benefit, stores can use their updated tools to keep in good standing with Canadian retail legislation. Even relatively minor violations of these laws can have major impacts on a store in terms of its ability to stay open to customers at all times. These issues, which are often avoidable, can have a negative effect on revenues.
Consumer spending comes in strong
According to a recent report from Moneris Solutions Corporation, one of Canada's largest credit and debit card processing services, Canadian consumer spending rose by 3.31 percent in the first quarter of 2013 in comparison to the same period in 2012. January showed the strongest increases, coming in at 4.38 percent, but February and March made a solid showing as well at 3.35 percent and 2.17 percent, respectively.
By region, Alberta showed the most robust growth at 7.72 percent. Spending in Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 6.05 percent, while Saskatchewan ranked third with 5.93 percent.
"This quarter continued to be [a] positive one for merchants and for the Canadian economy," said Malcolm Fowler, vice president of marketing at Moneris. "As we enter the second quarter, it will be interesting to see if spending continues to increase or if it levels off - which we will continue to monitor accordingly."
Boosts in terms of consumer spending are likely to be supported by drops in debt. RBC Economics found that Canadian household debt is growing at the slowest year-over-year rate since June 2001, with February debt recorded at 4.5 percent above indicators from the same time in 2012 but 4.7 percent less than the prior month. The firm noted that reductions in debt may be welcome news to legislators as they may demonstrate that the nation's consumers aren't overextending themselves financially.
This may translate into benefits for retailers as individuals experiencing lighter amounts of debt may be more willing to make new purchases. In order to handle rising demand, retailers should implement retail point of sale software to make the most of it.