By Stephen Relph

If you were to read Canadian news headlines in recent times, you may get the sense the world is crumbling around you; particularly if you work in the retail industry.

Based on what the media has been saying, consumer sentiment is worsening, inflation is rising, staff shortages are affecting service, supply chain issues are affecting product availability, and customers are staying home more than ever.

But do the headlines match up with the reality of consumer behaviour? To get a clearer picture of actual consumer behaviour today and in the future retailers are increasingly turning to mobile wallets and digging deep into the data they provide to be able to truly understand the market.

Canada’s leading mobile wallet, Stocard, uses the data from loyalty card scans of its three million users to help retailers cut through the headlines and empower them with visibility into definitive consumer conduct.

Furthermore, mobile wallets can enable marketers to better measure and engage their program members while improving efficiency within their marketing strategy.

Here’s a snapshot of some the major Canadian shopping trends in the market today:

  • Remote work is driving down gas and out-of-home coffee consumption, dropping 15 and 43 percent, respectively.
  • Canadian shoppers are spending more on specialty beauty items and fashion in general, which have risen 11.2 percent and 82.8 percent, respectively.
  • Down only 3 percent, the Grocery, Pharmacy and Warehouse Club channel trends will be interesting to watch over the balance of the year with inflation on the rise and restaurants gradually reopening.
  • Trips to libraries are up 37 percent.
  • Will Canadian shoppers make trips to multiple stores to save money, or consolidate trips to minimize the risk of COVID-19?

How can loyalty program data help Canadian marketers in 2022?

With Canadians clearly still shopping in stores, here’s how mobile wallets can help improve your marketing strategy:

1) Understand your customer’s share of wallet.

Every retailer should be focused on their owned and operated properties as they have the potential to provide rich data and a greater understanding of your customer base. The missing piece of the puzzle for many is understanding where else and how frequently your loyalists shop.

Partnering with mobile wallet providers on advertising campaigns can unlock a greater understanding of your loyalist’s share of wallet and can help influence where they shop (number of trips) and their basket size.

2) Best-in-class performance marketing with closed-loop capabilities.

As we shift to a cookieless world and as Apple and Google tighten location tracking permissions, attributing marketing spend is more challenging than ever before. But with loyalty programs tied to mobile wallets, closing the loop from ad engagement to purchase (card scans) is easy. What’s more, mobile wallet users are most often active shoppers, so real and measurable incremental results are possible.

3) Optimize your personalization efforts with 100 percent match rates, load to card coupons/offers.

Retailers run personalization campaigns because they know they work. According to McKinsey, brands that get real-time personalization right can deliver eight times the ROI of their marketing spend and lift sales by more than 10 percent. Extending reach beyond email or apps can be challenging with email match rates on social networks often limited to only 70 to 80 percent accuracy.  Matching to loyalty numbers eliminates this challenge and typically delivers big savings vs social; once again to a perfect context of active shoppers who aren’t distracted by other content.

4) Drive program signups with the perfect audience, without the waste of plastic.

We all know plastic is a problem. But how can you drive signups without the plastic card? The best place to drive loyalty signups will always be your stores or online checkouts. The next best place is mobile wallets where users are exclusively thinking about shopping and loyalty programs. Some mobile wallets permit direct integration to your CRM via API, enable cost-effective and scalable member acquisition, and given they’re already in your CRM, you continue to own the relationship.

5) Expand the reach of your retail media network.

Forward-thinking retailers throughout North America & Europe have been launching retail media networks; offering advertising partners closed-loop attribution. While owned and operated properties are a great starting point, extending outside of this area can become an expensive proposition given email match rates and expensive targeting. Leveraging mobile wallet data and the wide range of ad formats offered by mobile wallets enables retailers to reach loyalty members at a fraction of the cost of social networks while retaining the benefit of closing the loop for advertising partners.

6) Be part of the future of payments.

Throughout Europe and Asia, we are seeing mobile wallets expand beyond loyalty cards and into facilitating payments. And as Canadians are increasingly shifting to touchless payments via mobile devices, we can expect a convergence of loyalty programs and virtual payments within mobile wallets. As this convergence materializes, mobile wallets will be able to further close the loop beyond loyalty card purchases.


Stephen Relph is the Country Manager, Canada, for leading mobile wallet Stocard’s three million users and oversees its brand and retail partnerships.

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.