Only blaming Amazon is not fashionable


Posted in Retail
By Jessica Uttley on June 29, 2017

Retailers may be tempted to focus solely on the challenges they face due to the rapid rise of Amazon into a dominant leadership position. This would be very short sighted of them. The impact to their businesses from the digitization of consumer shopping behaviour and a growing culture of bargain hunters are not to be …

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Retailers Can Master Mobile Using Machine Learning


Posted in Marketing, Retail
By David McMichael on March 23, 2017

As the modern consumer becomes a multi-channel shopper, the modern retailer has been forced to follow suit. Mobile commerce or “m-commerce” is now a crucial point-of-sale for a retailer hoping to cover the entire consumer shopping experience. Machine learning systems have been expanding to mobile in many ways, but none that provide large-scale results like …

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Storytelling in Startups: We Can Relate


Posted in Company, Marketing
By David McMichael on March 17, 2017

Most of us remember childhood bedtime stories or amusing renditions of a night out with friends. These stories have helped shape who we are, and they reinforce our existing relationships. By telling stories of their own, startup businesses can create lasting impressions and personalized experiences to drive an impactful brand experience. In the highly competitive …

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Stop Cheapening Our Tech Sector by Quoting Our “Cheap” Engineers


Posted in Company, Company News
By Kerry Liu on March 15, 2017

An Open Letter to the Ontario Tech Community: I have been torn recently. The Ontario tech community – specifically the Toronto and KW corridor – has been getting a lot of well-deserved global press. See the CBC’s article about building our very own “Silicon Valley North”. The issue is that every time I read an article, …

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Cutting through the hype: The real benefits of machine learning


Posted in Company, Company News, Retail
By Kerry Liu on February 7, 2017

Yesterday we publicly announced our largest retail partnership to date. We are honoured and excited to partner with A.S Watson as their preferred vendor for a global roll out of machine learning applications. Over the past year, we have worked diligently with various leaders in the A.S Watson Group and have been impressed with how …

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Putting the Enterprise in the Cloud


Posted in Company, Retail
By Waleed Ayoub on January 23, 2017

We’re used to associating Google with the best. The cutting edge. However, this dominance has yet to assert itself  in the race to dominate cloud computing. A race currently being led by Amazon Web Services. In constructing the most valuable company ever, Google has amassed an unparalleled cloud stack, appealing to end users and developers alike. …

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Canadian Black Friday: A Tradition ‘Pulled’ From The States


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on January 23, 2017

Black Friday hasn’t always been a Canadian tradition, in fact only 8 years ago Canadian’s were still quietly judging Americans for their alarming behaviour only hours after celebrations of giving thanks. But, with the Canadian retail market slowly on the decline and our dollar often following suit retailers felt the need to keep sales north …

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Retailers – Stop Being So Afraid of Machine Learning


Posted in Retail
By Kerry Liu on January 23, 2017

Machine learning is a scary word for some retailers. Maybe they fear super-powered robots bent on taking over the world, but more likely they are nervous to place so much trust in artificial intelligence or new technology. While change can be frightening, machine learning is the best way for businesses to gain powerful marketing insights …

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How to Use Machine Learning to Further Retail Analytic Capacity


Posted in Marketing, Retail
By Kerry Liu on September 29, 2016

If you’re only using big data to target consumers based on demographics or purchase history, you’re making a mistake that will cost your company a significant amount of revenue. Big data can provide retailers with a wealth of highly personalized information about their customers, informing meaningful customer interactions. But most retailers are only using the …

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Cloud Cloud Cloud


Posted in Marketing, Retail
By Roger Singh on September 19, 2016

In the last few weeks, I have been asked by colleagues, customers, and a few industry analysts to comment on the continued trend towards the use of cloud computing. In the last few months, we have seen AWS growing at 58% in the second quarter of 2016 as compared to the same period last year. …

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An Insider’s View of Retail: Part One


Posted in Retail
By Kerry Liu on August 11, 2016

It has been a while since I’ve written an article and my goal is to change that over the next few months. I was inspired to write this series while on a plane coming back from an investor road show. It hit me that the world of retail, which we live in, is misunderstood by …

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The Possible Future of Retail


Posted in Retail
By Dan Theirl on July 26, 2016

I am not making a bold prediction today. I am exploring the possible future of retail as consumers embrace a digital and mobile first shopping experience and even lifestyle. As I ride into work in an Uber, I order my Ritual with two taps, grab a cup of coffee, walk over to my local breakfast …

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In-Store Attractions Will Soon Be Reality


Posted in Retail
By Christina Angelopoulos on June 17, 2016

Why shop online when you can take a brief trip to California’s Yosemite National Park or the Moab desert in Utah and trek the landscapes while shopping for a windbreaker? What sounds like a dream vacation was in fact a campaign hosted by the outdoor equipment retailer, North Face. The in-store experience was limited to …

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Facing the Facts About Biometric Technology


Posted in Retail
By Christina Angelopoulos on June 10, 2016

Imagine walking into a store and never having to pull out your wallet, or fumble around for cash. Imagine the ability to use your own identity as a form of payment. Sound like a scene from the Minority Report? To some, definitely. For others, like Google, it’s their latest project. It’s appropriately called ‘Hands Free’ …

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The Beautiful Truth of Mobile Consumerism


Posted in Retail
By Christina Angelopoulos on June 3, 2016

The beauty industry is one where personalization and experimentation can come together and flourish. This is why it comes as no surprise that beauty retailing in the US is evolving, as consumers are turning towards mobile technology while shopping for their favourite products. New research reveals that 45 percent of beauty consumers prefer to consult …

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The truth about personalization across channels


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on May 30, 2016

Retailers share one commonality no matter what industry or product they sell : they’re always looking for ways to increase revenue and optimize customer experience. Accurately predicting what to sell each customer and at what price is a difficult task, but a necessity when it comes to keeping customers happy. The tricky part is effectively …

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What’s happening to Canadian retail, eh?


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on April 6, 2016

Can you recall the last time you walked past a Jacob, Smart Set or Mexx retailer while shopping in Canada? Do you even remember the brands? October 2014, November 2014 and December 2014 respectively are the dates when each company announced that store closures were beginning to happen. Although Smartset is disappearing under the Reitman’s …

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E-Retailers Coming to a Street Near You


Posted in Retail
By Taylor Longfield on March 14, 2016

At the beginning of 2015, it seemed that store closure may be upon us, but by September there was hope for luxury brands in Canada. Now in 2016, purely digital companies are opening physical shops. Crazy, right? We’ve entered a time where in order to be successful, online retailers cannot solely exist online.  Well known …

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Are physical grocery stores checking out?


Posted in Retail
By Taylor Longfield on February 16, 2016

Walking into a grocery store today, is a lot different than ten years ago. Although some things like the milk being located at the back and a 1-12 item express lane, may never change, today’s stores are innovating. Technology in POS systems, loyalty programs, store layouts, and smarter and more helpful associates, are creating a …

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How To Make Shoppers Trust Your Brand


Posted in Retail
By Taylor Longfield on January 26, 2016

Asking for an e-mail at checkout, or trying to convince shoppers to buy-in to your loyalty program by saying they can save 25%, might be doing more harm than good. Why? Consumers want to know what’s in it for them and what benefits they’re going to receive. Loyalty programs that are not delivering to their …

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January: The most wonderful time of the year


Posted in Retail
By Taylor Longfield on January 6, 2016

The holidays can be a time when shoppers make one purchase and disappear forever, or if the retailer is lucky, the buyer will return next year. Even though the holidays are considered the most wonderful time of the year retailers can look to January as their magical season. The new year is a fresh start …

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Vote For Retail on October 19th


Posted in Retail
By Taylor Longfield on October 9, 2015

In the upcoming weeks, Canadians will be making their way to the election polls. While most voters are concerned with common issues like health care, the environment, child care and retirement, there is another matter that deserves attention. Employing 2.2 million, the most Canadians of any sector, the retail industry impacts communities and is a …

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Canada is Opening the Doors to a Brighter Retail Future


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on September 21, 2015

At the beginning of 2015, things were looking less than promising for the Canadian retail landscape. An array of stores had shut down, and Target’s massive Canadian experiment had been a massive failure. But with the holiday season just around the corner, retail in Canada is looking more promising than ever with a number of …

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Big Data and E-Commerce: How Global Retailers Are Adapting


Posted in Retail
By Avi Mizrahi on August 11, 2015

Are offline and online retail channels different from each other? Both channels aim to optimize the customer experience, drive traffic & frequency, increase basket sizes and improve sales & margin. Yes, the goals of each channel are the same, but the access to data in the e-commerce world is a major difference. It ultimately improves …

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The Retailer/Consumer Data Struggle: Who Wins?


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on July 24, 2015

How valuable is your data? We have all reached the general consensus that consumer data is valuable, that is why we continue to see innovative ways for retailers to capitalize on it like beacons and elaborate customer loyalty programs. But consumers should start to question how much value the retailers are getting out of their …

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5 Things that have not changed in Retail:


Posted in Retail
By Avi Mizrahi on July 8, 2015

I entered the world of retail in the early 1990s and have worked my way up from the sales floor to the head office. Throughout that time, technological advancements have changed retail significantly. Interestingly enough, the following 5 principles have remained constant and don’t show any signs of changing. 1. Customers Are Number one: Twenty-five …

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Walking into Google


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on March 19, 2015

You can enter anything you want into a google search bar, and now for the first time ever, you can physically enter into a google store. They’ve joined the likes of Microsoft and Apple having opened their first brick and mortar store last week in Currys PC World in the UK. If consumers didn’t need the …

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Closure: Coming to a store near you


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on January 21, 2015

 It’s no secret that there is something serious going on in the Canadian retail industry and the winds of change don’t particularly seem positive. It didn’t feel like too long ago that Sears regretfully informed Canadians of major cutbacks and the iconic Eaton Centre store prepared for shutdown. Now in the last few months Canadians …

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‘Poynt’ed in the Right Direction


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on October 30, 2014

Security has always been a factor when considering things like digital wallets and mobile payments. With the increased number of financial fraud cases, it is hard to know who to trust with your digital currency. Many believe that if you are going to put your faith in anyone, it’s safe to trust Osama Bedier, former …

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1, 2, 3 … When Will Retail be Omni?


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on October 24, 2014

Omnichannel refers to the omniscient retail experience. In other words, it is the multichannel approach  to convenience and customer satisfaction. Retailers have been talking about its impending actuality for  years now, but we have yet to see many of them master its basic principles. The benefits of omnichannel for both retailers and consumers are obvious. …

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Part 2 – The Global eCommerce War


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on October 3, 2014

Due to the natural competition we see between China and North America it is easy to debate the significance and power of Alibaba/JD.com and Amazon/eBay. In my previous article I discussed China and its ever-growing respect as the worlds new eCommerce leader. Today I want to delve deeper into the commonalities and variations we see …

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Part 1 – Alibaba: Showing the World Why China is the eCommerce Leader


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on September 26, 2014

The largest IPO in history is certainly something to brag about, but Alibaba is bringing some much-needed  attention to eCommerce in China as a whole. Year over year China experiences exponential growth in their  eCommerce market, and although the growth rate of internet users has slowed down, the online shopping  population has continued to grow …

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Bitcoin: A Digital Currency for a Digital World


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on September 19, 2014

                                Bitcoin may seem like the elusive internet currency that isn’t quite relevant yet, but Bitcoin is steadily making its way into mainstream consumerism. Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency that allows anyone with an internet-connected device to instantly send or …

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Digital Convenience : Just a “tap” away


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on September 12, 2014

A digital wallet (or e-wallet) is exactly as it sounds. It is a blanket term for a range of technologies that are changing the way we pay for things. The days of inconvenient swiping and PIN entry are over. We are well on our way to a world where a mere “tap” is all that …

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Mobile: A point for bricks, not clicks


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on August 26, 2014

By the mid-2000’s every retailer was accepting that mobile shopping or “m-commerce” was transforming consumerism. Both online and offline stores had reasons to fear the change but also just as many reasons to embrace it. Seemingly the greater fear was with brick-and-mortar stores as they wondered if they would eventually become obsolete. The added convenience …

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A “beacon”of hope for offline retailers


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on August 18, 2014

I sat down with Dan (our product guy) last week to talk about iBeacon and how it’s a game changer for offline retailers. iBeacon and similar emerging technologies have the potential to take offline retailers into the digital age. iBeacon is Apple’s trademarked “indoor proximity system”. It uses Bluetooth Low-energy (BLE) technology to pull location-based …

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Choices and Voices


Posted in Retail
By Laura Leslie on August 12, 2014

  Over the past few years, innovations in technologies have changed the way retailers do business. With each innovation, retailers have to scramble to adhere to the ever-changing landscape or fear being left behind. We’ve seen things like social media force the highest standard for customer experience.  Now a displeased customer won’t be asking to …

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Is a 2% conversion rate really good enough?


Posted in Retail
By Kerry Liu on August 8, 2014

  Why do online retailers accept 2% conversion rates as “good enough?” How do large offline retailers properly understand their customers across multiple channels and actually innovate their way out of this retail war? How can they increase their conversion rates without spending millions more on paid search alone? This endless cycle of invest $100 …

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