Retailers and consumers in Canada have been immensely enjoying the advancements in technology. Technology has aided them in communication without having to meet in person. Retailers gather all details of their available products and pricing for each product. This information is then published on the retailer’s websites, playing an essential role in marketing products to a wide range of consumers in the country (Silcoff, 2012).
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Within those websites, immense forms of functions are provided where consumers can select all the products they need and give a response. Retailers wait for payment to be done online usually through online payment systems such as the PayPal. Whenever a transaction is through, the products are sent to the shopper. Sometimes, he just goes to the store, provides details of the transaction, and gets all the products packed.
Clearly, this online implementation of transactions has been enormously significant to save time used in queuing while waiting to be served by a cashier. With an enterprise resource planning systems, retailers have a bird’s eye of the status of the stock in their store (Silcoff, 2012). In addition, these technological advancements have aided retailers in performance of sales through well-integrated sales management systems which within the enterprise resource planning systems.
This has played an essential role in ensuring that customer transactions are done in a faultless and efficient approach. It has further guaranteed that there are no chances of fraud thus maximizing the profit gain in the retailer business. To the consumers, technology has provided them with a mechanism of searching for available products in a store by themselves (Rousseau-Anderson, 2009).
This further clarifies that, consumers no longer experience stress in waiting for a store man who, may be serving another client. In addition, retailers no longer have the stress of employing a large number of store men to aid in their business thus meaning cost of performing the business is low. Consequently, when cost of performing business is low, the cost of selling products also becomes low.
Through technological advancements, large-scale sellers have been electronically transmitting data to almost all parts of the country. This has brought formidable competition between retailers, and large-scale traders thus resulting in lower prices of most products supplied sold in the country.
That is, due to technology has provided large-scale suppliers with new technological approaches such as the use of box technology where they directly exchange electronic data with their consumers. Consequently, the consumers have enjoyed low pricing in the majority of products. In brief, technology has changed the Canadian retail market into offering low cost products that impose appreciable advantages on the expenditures of country’s native citizens (Silcoff, 2012).
It is vital to acknowledge that technology has played an essential in ensuring that the Canadian consumer enjoys an efficient way of life. Through the availability of online advertisements, a consumer gets timely updates about the best or recent available product in a retail store.
All the information about available products is now brought to the consumer through electronic mail notifications or data sent through his or her online account (Industry Canada, 2011). This has been a significant move, which ensures relevant data is provided on time.
In addition, buying a product in Canada has become a remarkably straightforward process. A consumer only has to go online, select the products he or she wants, pays for the product online and awaits for the delivery or goes to the retail store and picks his parcel of products. These online systems have been extremely relevant in that they save a lot of time. In the past, Canadians had to go to a retail store, select a number of products.
They would then have to queue up for a long time as they wait to make payments to the cashier. This wasted a large amount of time, which could be utilized in doing other essential activities. The Introduction of technology has played a fundamental role in that the consumers are able to save a lot of time and get timely responses on the available products in a retail market (Retail Council of Canada, 2012).
Finally, yet importantly, through the introduction of mobile payment systems and mobile banking, Canadian consumers have been provided without an efficient and safe mechanism of handling their cash. These consumers have made weekend schedules on time for conducting withdrawals in a bank.
Mobile banking has ensured that all transaction can be done easily and at a speedy pace without one having a physical contact with a bank. The Use of smart card technology has further ensured that transactions by Canadian consumers can be conducted while he or she does not have a physical touch of his money (Industry Canada, 2011). This has been extremely vital in ensuring security of cash and maximizing retail businesses in the country.
Although technology as played an essential role in providing its Canadian consumers and retailers a considerable number of benefits, there are numerous brought demerits that are vital to mention. The rise of technology has led to the retail business in the country lacking much of the diverse products that consumers used to enjoy in the past.
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The retail business has become immensely homogenous and concentrated. Majority of the available products are nowadays imported from foreign countries, and most of them concentrate on production of products that are technologically oriented. This has made the Canadian retail markets lack the enormous diversity in the availability of indigenous products (Industry Canada, 2011).
Technology has laid immense challenges to retailers in Canada. Large foreign businesses where retailers used to buy products and sell them to the indigenous Canadians are now conducting online business transactions. Through the introduction of electronic commerce business, consumers can receive online details of available products in a large foreign company.
In these online transactions, customers select the products they need; then, they make payments without having to travel to the physical location of the company. The products are then shipped to the customer, and since these products are of cheap prices, most Canadian citizens prefer these transactions (Industry Canada, 2011).
This has become a veritable predicament to retailers in the country because of the massive reduction of profits. These massive profits were because retailers were the only connection between the foreign companies, and the Canadian citizens. In other words, the Canadian retailers are facing immense competitions from large-scale companies.
This has exceptionally lowered their aptitude of attaining their objectives of making as large amount of profit as possible. They rely on conducting business with the native products produced in the country leading to lower growth of their businesses. Consumers have also been facing enormous challenges in the Canadian technological advancement.
The most significant predicament caused by technology is the digital divide. Clearly, a considerable figure of Canadians is not familiar with technological evolution. Both the elderly and the uneducated people are facing enormous challenges (Rousseau-Anderson, 2009). The search for product information and performance of a transaction can nowadays be done through a computer system.
This has led to the commonest predicament called the digital divide. In this sense, it means only those who have the respective knowledge bases enjoy the advantages provided by these technological advancements. To the other group who never understand these technologies have faced enormous losses since they do not know the exact place to get cheaper products and throwaway ample time trying to search for cheaper products.
Thus, technology has vastly divided the people regarding their expenses, and led other people to spend more than expected (Industry Canada, 2011). Technology is therefore a big score to the people conversant with it and a disappointment to others. They are forced to make time and learn all they need to know concerning technology.
Furthermore, consumers who conduct their transactions online have been facing formidable challenges in the privacy of their data (Retail Council of Canada, 2012). This has been notably experienced in the rise of hackers who penetrate into one’s online account and alter the information contained in the account.
Although technology aids consumers conducting these transactions, the presence of hackers in between the consumer and retailer has produced immense losses. Whenever a hacker enters a consumer’s account, he changes all the details of the transactions conducted leading to the consumer paying more than previously anticipated. This has resulted into customers highly questioning the privacy, integrity and credibility of their data as transacted in an online system.
The worst part of technology is that an immense number of consumers have lost large sums of money in their performance of electronic commerce transactions. This has been experienced in scenarios where online computer hackers intrude into a consumer’s digital cash account, then he or she transfers all the cash contained in that account to his own account (Rousseau-Anderson, 2009).
In some circumstances, hackers change all the details of the account, go for a new smart card or credit card and end up owning the account. When consumers come in next time, they find that they cannot access the account or the cash in the system. Consumers have been openly facing enormous loss while using these technological mechanisms in their retail transactions (Industry Canada, 2011).
Retailers have also been facing the same predicaments while performing these technologically based business transactions. In most cases, a fake consumer conducts a transaction online then the retailer confirms the transaction. When the transaction is complete and delivery is due to be made, the retailer realizes that the consumer never exists, forcing the retailer to reset his stock inventory (Retail Council of Canada, 2012).
This has been an immensely frustrating issue to the retailers. Furthermore, retailers have also faced severe losses in the transactions done online. This has been significant in scenarios where an attacker invades the online system of a retail business, then does transactions that the retailer is tricked to confirm. After delivery is done, it comes to his realization that he had been tricked and yet no real payment has been done to his account thus ending up in immense loss.
Industry Canada: Consumers and Changing Retail Markets. (2011) Web.
Retail Council of Canada: Industry research and resource guides. (2012) Web.
Rousseau-Anderson, J (2009). The State of Consumers and Technology in Canada. Web.
Silcoff, S. (2012). The Globe and mail: What keeps online retail in Canada from clicking? Web.