Our Intelligence Report: Omnichannel Retail | Canada found many retailers were combatting the threat of Amazon by leveraging their brick-and-mortar locations, enabling users to search inventory online and buy in-store. Canadian Tire had the most sophisticated multichannel program of all brands in the study even though it had discontinued e-commerce in 2009.
In all its 490 stores, Canadian Tire provides 5,000 tablet devices with a “fast find” feature employees use to quickly identify items in various location. The brand’s Canadian Way site has video, home improvement how-to’s, and recipes that showcase its cooking and grilling products. A stellar loyalty program also helps drive customers to stores. Canadian Tire partnered with Mastercard for a loyalty program that gives consumers points everywhere they shop, but more when they shop at the retailer. The program has a strong online component, sending consumers emails with rewards information and allowing them to view their points online.
Many were shocked when Canadian Tire shut off its e-commerce site – the busiest in Canada at the time – in 2009. But it looks like the brand is replacing it with a true multichannel effort likely to bring sales. Further digital innovations are likely, as the brand has partnered with tech incubator Communitech to build a digital development lab in Kitchener, Ontario, also known as Silicon Valley North.