PwC Canada's Consumer insights survey launched today and suggests that Canadian consumers are demanding far more from their favourite retail brands, engaging more with smart tech and want digital access to health care. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

One thousand Canadians took part in the survey that highlights how companies need to focus more attention on creating a strong return on experience rather than just focusing more broadly on return on investment.

When it comes to grocery shopping, the majority of Canadians (52%) want a seamless experience and find products easily in the story. However, only a third (32%) want quick and easy payment solutions including mobile and contactless payment. Micro-trips are the new norm, rather than doing one big shop during the week. Just over a quarter (26%) said they make "micro-trips" to grocery stores or supermarkets (i.e. in-store trips less than five minutes long) two to three times per week, 23% said weekly and 10% said daily or more. The report also indicates that only 20% of Canadians are likely to purchase groceries online.

Adoption of smart technology, including voice-enabled technology, continues to grow and evolve. Approximately half (52%) of respondents use smart technology to access information (current affairs and weather) and about one third (31%) to control other smart home devices. This rise in adoption provides many opportunities for retailers to drive personalized offerings and also change retail marketing by considering voice search (not just about a mobile friendly website anymore).

Canadians are also turning to technology to keep track of their health, in order to reduce wait times and have access to information in a timely manner. Nearly half (46%) of Canadian respondents said they're somewhat comfortable accessing health care products or services from a company with an application that collates all of their health care information in one place.

While uptake on consumer apps in health care has been on the slower side to date, 32% of all Canadians surveyed said they use health care, wellness, fitness and medical applications on their phone, smartwatch or tablet. That number rose to 37% for those aged 25-34. In addition to exercise and diet monitoring, stress and sleep tracking apps were the most important for those aged 25-34. Fertility and period tracking were popular among the younger age group as well.

The report highlights a list of imperatives for companies to improve ROX, including understanding customers, treating data respectfully and fusing customer experience with employee experience.

"Canadians want ease and convenience when shopping and they are using more technology to help them with decision-making. With more technology platforms aggregating data, retailers should tailor their offerings to make unique experiences for customers," says Myles Gooding, National Retail Leader, PwC Canada. "With more brands selling through the multi-channel approach, it's important for any company to offer a unique experience to its customers to create brand loyalty."