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Integrating digital and retail: changing the way consumers interact with products
Created on 1/27/2016 9:52:31 AM

Micheline Davies

MISSISSAUGA -- Leaders in the digital space came together to discuss this evolving landscape and what it means to FCPC members at the third Annual Digital Insights event.

 “For Canadian Tire bricks and mortar is not dead,” said Micheline Davies, Vice President, Store Design and Merchandising at Canadian Tire. “We continue to add square footage every year.” Davies showed the audience how Canadian Tire is reshaping retail with their fully digital and interactive “showcase” store in Edmonton. By creating a digital playground and delivering experiences online cannot provide, the showcase store delivers valuable insights into how retailers will look in the near future. Taking an omni-channel sales approach, which aims to provide customers with a seamless experience whether they are shopping online, by phone or in store continues to be a critical theme for CPG companies. More and more consumers are researching and interacting with products online but still purchasing in-store; you can’t have one without the other.


Marc Saltzman, freelance journalist and broadcast technology expert, one of North America’s most known experts in consumer electronics, spoke about trends in retail technology, which was top-of-mind from his recent attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Saltzman shared new statistics about Canadian consumers, stating that “27% (of shoppers) research brands on social media and 54% shop online at least monthly, showing the importance of omni-channel and closing a sale with whatever touchpoints they want to use.” Marc also provided insights into how tech trends such as drones, smart fridges and 3D printing will impact the CPG industry in the future.

Kerry Morrison

Kerry Morrison, Chief Product Officer, Demac Media, encouraged the audience to own more of their relationships with consumers “owning a relationship with your customers does not mean doing it all; show initiative and make a difference with the smallest endeavors – pick a product, pick a store and pick a market.

fifth story

Paul Abrams, Director of Marketing and Custom Solutions at Fifth Story, and Shelley Middlebrook, the company’s president, presented a on video content marketing and best practices for making sure your messaging sticks. “By 2018 84% of communication will be visual” said Abrams. “Not every piece of content needs to go viral but provide the consumer with value, moving them closer to your brand.”

Susan Irving

Susan Irving, Senior Director of Marketing at PepsiCo Canada discussed her five principles for evaluating great creative – which she has used in leading some of the company’s most successful integrated marketing campaigns, including Lays “Do Us a Flavour” campaign that has become a part of Canadian culture. Irving told the audience “digital gives you the opportunity to create something quick to become part of the conversation.” 

Robin Sherk

Back by popular demand, Robin Sherk, Director of Retail Insights at Kantar Retail, delivered an afternoon workshop entitled “Online Grocery Advances Across Canada: Planning Against its Evolution.” She spoke about opportunities suppliers need to be taking advantage of today, including subscription and delivery services “The subscription economy reaches niche audiences and uses consumer packaged goods - creating new selling channels.”


For more information about upcoming FCPC insight events, please click here.