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Reading This On Your Smartphone?

December 7, 2015

The definition of communication according to Oxford Dictionaries is: ‘the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.’ Now, those commonly used mediums have, over time, changed dramatically. First World countries have progressively moved from the hand written letter, Morse code and telegrams, radio and television, daily newspapers and the widespread use of the telephone, to within the last twenty years or so; the computer, the Internet and the super popular gadget that a staggering number of people now use to communicate, the smartphone.

According to Catalyst and GroupM Next, a study they did in 2014 showed that 55% of Canadians owned a smartphone. In 2015, the penetration rate grew to 68%, representing a year-over-year growth of 24% (see Figure 1). This gain in smartphone owners is a significant one that demonstrates how quickly the mobile revolution is progressing.


Canadian Smartphone Penetration Rates

© Catalyst 2015

This should come as no surprise. You can’t walk five feet anywhere in a public setting without seeing half a dozen people with their heads down, fingers typing or swiping.  And what exactly are they doing when typing and swiping? They’re checking email, checking social media, doing banking and a whole slew of other things. No more waiting to get a bank statement in the mail. No more waiting for a letter in the post. They are communicating information in real time. And that requires applications, of which there are close to 4 BILLION (whaaaaat????) available between the top five leading app stores.

That being said, in 2014 smartphone owners reported having an average of close to 26 apps on their phone, with that number dropping to just under 19 in 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, average monthly app downloads decreased by 53%, while average monthly app uninstalls increased by 29%. It would seem that users want more bang for their buck and if they’re going to upload or keep an app on their phone, it needs to provide them with value. Considering the time and money spent on creating and maintaining native mobile apps, it would stand to reason that businesses want the most value out of their apps as well.

 On Smartphones

So retailers…how to stay ahead of the competition and get the best ROI from your mobile apps? Proximity marketing utilizing Dana Beacons! Used in conjunction with one of our shelf talkers, the beacon sends a Bluetooth Low Energy signal to your customer’s smart phone while they are in store or within close proximity (hence proximity marketing). When the phone hears that signal, a message can be sent through your app to trigger a video, an ad or promotion, a recipe, a discount being offered or a coupon. This creates an enhanced shopping experience for the customer, and gives them that value necessary to retain your app. Of consumers that receive a beacon message, they are 6.4 times more likely to keep an app versus those that don’t.  Bottom line folks – Dana Beacons can create a huge opportunity for retailers to increase sales and give them a great ROI on mobile apps. Very, very smart!




BEER! Got Your Attention?

November 16, 2015

Hip hip hooray!! Well, if you haven’t heard by now that the Ontario government has finally struck a deal for beer to be sold in grocery stores, chances are you don’t live in Ontario. Or drink beer. Or buy beer. But for Ontarians that do, this is a big deal folks. Currently, beer can be purchased either at The Beer Store, the LCBO or at an on site brewery store.  It has been this way for almost NINETY years, since the end of Prohibition in 1927. But with the new 10 year accord between the government and Brewer’s Retail, 450 grocery stores in Ontario will be permitted to sell six packs of beer with the same pricing as The Beer Store and the LCBO. And this is supposed to start being phased in just in time for Christmas. Thank you Santa!

The deal also designates that twenty percent of beer shelving in supermarkets, the LCBO, and Beer Stores will be reserved for independent brewers, with the intent of creating a more level playing field. According to Cam Heaps, co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing and Chair of Ontario Craft Brewers, “A key aspect for Craft Brewers is that any new access, whatever form it takes, is affordable and that it does not allow large players to purchase all of the shelf space. Shelf space fees are illegal in many US states for that very reason.” Good news for the craft brewers, indeed.

Ontario Craft Brewers

With twenty percent of shelf space reserved for small brewers, this should hopefully create awareness of the brewers and their brands to the grocery shopper. But this space is reserved not only for local or Canadian brewers, but for brewers from across the globe that make fewer than 4.6 million six-packs a year. Yowza…sounds like that could mean some pretty stiff competition for our homegrown beer makers.

Now, within that twenty percent shelf space, just how many small breweries will be represented? That remains to be seen. And their place of origin remains to be seen as well. They will not only be competing with the big breweries, but competing amongst themselves. With a broadened marketplace comes greater exposure, sure. But gaining exposure is not the entire point of breweries having a presence in the grocery store. The point is to actually sell the product, isn’t it? And of course, simply from an economic point of view, it would be ideal to support our local and/or Canadian brewers, eh? No doubt aboot it.

At the end of the day, being able to buy suds in grocery stores is going to be a huge convenience for the consumer. Rather than having to make an extra trip to the Beer Store, they can quickly snag a six pack with their groceries. Shop one and done!  But which brand to buy if the consumer doesn’t see their regular or favourite brand that the Beer Store or LCBO carries? In order to generate revenue, the Canadian and local craft brewers are going to have to differentiate themselves from their competition within that twenty percent. The consumer’s attention should be caught as soon as they turn down the aisle and the beer should practically be jumping off the shelf into the grocery cart if companies really want to make their presence known….and to increase their sales.

What’s the best solution to help beer fly off shelves? A Dana wobbler of course! Small but highly effective. They are attached to the data strip or the shelf that the products reside on and dangle off the edge, thereby instantly catching the eye and drawing the consumer to said products. They are all custom made and can display anything from a simple logo to a QR code. The choice is up to the brewer. The choice of the brew is up to the consumer. With the help of Dana Industries, we trust it’s your brand they choose!



‘Xcess Inventory at Xmas

November 4, 2015

Are you still love-love-LOVING the price of gas at the pumps as of late? Of course you are! The cost of filling a tank is no longer comparable to making a mortgage payment (Okay, just a slight exaggeration). Without getting too deep into economics, we know that the price of gas is based on the price of oil. We know that the price of oil has dropped, ergo the price at the pumps have dropped. Yippee! However, in countries that are commodity heavy, like Canada, this has impacted our economy greatly, with consumer spending tapering off alongside the downturn in oil prices.

This is not great news for retailers.  According to Ed Strapagiel, an expert on consumer shopping trends, sales growth in areas like electronics, general merchandise stores and supermarkets has turned markedly sluggish. “Christmas sales have already started and things are shaping up to be a drawn out, profit-shaking competitive battle,” Strapagiel said. “Retailers who ordered their holiday stock on the basis of strong numbers [to start the year] might get a rude awakening.” Eeek!




Now these are just predictions, so no need to panic yet. After all, it is only the beginning of November and Christmas is over a month and a half away. Heck, it’s not even American Thanksgiving yet. But, and it’s a big BUT…should the consumer spending trend continue as it has, and as the experts predict, it would make sense to be proactive and utilize anything at your disposal to ensure you’re able to hit your targets and are not left with surplus stock. That’s money on the shelves just sitting there. Not moving. Not good.

Our team at Dana Industries can absolutely assist with this. By all means, utilize us! Whether they are custom designed to your specifications or are from our stock program, our shelf talkers are a highly effective visual tool to communicate with customers as they are walking your aisles. If you’re promoting a certain brand or want customers to know what is on sale or you have new items in especially for the holiday shopping season, our shelf talkers can let your customers know.  Think of them as tiny spotlights shining directly on centre stage with the products being the stars.



“Thank you Dana Industries, for shining on me. I was just part of the ensemble until you came along and made me the centre of attention. Now everybody knows about me!”

                         -Product that has a shelf talker-

After all, getting products out the door is what it’s all about!





Black Friday

October 23, 2015

Black Friday is the Friday following American Thanksgiving, which typically marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. Many countries, including Canada, have also taken to ‘celebrating’ Black Friday even though it originated in the U.S. This day likely conjures up images of people camping out in front of stores for hours and hours before they’re open for business, wall to wall people in malls, jostling, pushing and shoving and just mayhem in general. BUT it’s a terrific opportunity for consumers to get fantastic deals on all sorts of items. And for retailers, those same images conjure up dollar signs…big dollar $ign$.

Now it’s most likely that the people who camp out in front of stores tend to know exactly what they want and are not just randomly setting up lawn chairs, bundled up in winter gear, drinking coffee out of Thermoses in order to browse or window shop. They have an agenda. They know the deal on that coveted item and are willing to risk life and limb to get it. They WANT that item! Remember the Tickle Me Elmo hysteria of 1996?

Black Friday

So, once the customer has their desired item in hand, all that waiting and nearly getting hypothermia was so worth it! Now, doesn’t it make sense to have them stay within the confines of the store and continue shopping? It’s warm inside. Nobody wants to leave that warmth, fight traffic and spend a ludicrous amount of time looking and waiting for a parking spot somewhere else if they don’t have to.  And after all, there are many deals in store, in addition to the one they just got. But what if the customer doesn’t have forehand knowledge of any other deals besides the one pertaining to their coveted item? Wouldn’t an informed customer who will spend their money in store on multiple items be YOUR most coveted item?

How great would it be to have one salesperson per customer to point out those other fantastic promotions? Wicked awesome! But, logistically and financially, it makes zero sense. Then why not let Dana Beacons be part of your holiday sales force? Attached to our shelf talkers, a beacon can send a message to a customer’s smartphone through an app using Bluetooth technology. If you want to let them know about a 3 for 1 deal on ABC Widgets? Dana Beacons are your answer. You want to let them know there’s 75 percent off on XYZ Gadgets? Dana Beacons are your answer. You want to let them know Ultimate Doodads are slashed to $0.25 each? Yup, Dana Beacons.

Sales, promotions, brand awareness… the content that is sent is all up to you. Dana Industries just wants to help make sure that your Black Friday will in fact, put you in the black.

Image Source:


BOOrgain or FRIGHTfully Good Deal?

October 8, 2015

Well folks, sadly summer is officially over and with the leaves beginning to change colour, the increasingly cooler temperatures and the start of the hockey and football seasons, we have to accept the fact that autumn has arrived. Now one of the things that’s great about autumn is that it heralds in a super fun day…Halloween! Any occasion that allows one to dress up to be whatever they want and then go out and get free candy just by asking for it is indeed a glorious occasion. Okay, so we as adults don’t actually go trick-or-treating anymore, but if we could get away with it, we would!

Although it is not considered a holiday, Halloween is no different than any other, commercially speaking. Several weeks prior to October 31st, advertising campaigns begin in order to promote goods, stores erect their displays and stock is put on the shelves. North Americans spend big money on everything from costumes and candy, Halloween inspired food items and pumpkins for carving, to greeting cards, decorations and even costumes for pets. Projected sales of Halloween related goods in the US is almost $7 billion (yes, billion with a B). While in Canada, that number is almost $1 billion. So per capita, Canadians are now outspending Americans on Halloween.


What does all this mean for you? It means there is a very big Halloween pie and you would presumably like the biggest slice possible. The tricky thing with seasonal merchandise is that there is a specific timeframe that this merchandise is in demand. On November 1, Halloween is over and done with until the following year. Rarely are people looking for a Minions costume, a pumpkin to carve or skeleton decorations in November or December.

Trick-or-Treat      Ahhh!

At Dana Industries, we want to help ensure that you are less apt to have surplus inventory and you actually get to eat your slice of Halloween pie. We know you’ve worked very hard to bring customers into your establishment. Let our shelf talkers work hard to sell your decorations, candy, greeting cards, pumpkins or doggie Dracula capes. Whether the customer is in your Halloween aisle or section, or simply walking by it, our shelf talkers with flags are designed to catch the eye, grab peoples’ attention and draw them to whatever item(s) you are looking to promote. They are all custom designed, so why not have some fun with them? What about one that says ‘BOOrgain’ or ‘FRIGHTfully Good Deal’? The choice is all yours. Again, we just want to help you get your piece of the pie and give your customers an enhanced shopping experience, all at the same time. Because having a lot of excess seasonal surplus can truly be scary!




Shop Outside the Box

August 24, 2015

After the back to school rush, retail shopping takes a dip before it ramps back up in November for the holiday season. September in North America is typically the slowest month in the latter half of the year for retail sales:

Monthly Retail Sales

The summer winds down and people start getting back into their regular fall routines. Students go back to school full-time, and most work places resume regular working hours.

That being said, there’s a little less time to spare every day – but oh, what a time to be alive! Because now, more than ever the supermarket is coming to you!

May 2015’s issue of Supermarket News states “Meijer, Hy-Vee, Loblaw, Lucky’s Market and Weis Markets were among the food retailers announcing a launch of expansion of their internet shopping options in recent weeks.”

Meijer has specific team members select every item in a customer’s internet order to have it ready for pick-up. VP of marketing and emerging technology Michael Ross emphasizes that “Meijer is helping their customers save time by remotely shopping for items and choosing their own personal pick-up time.”
Adapting to the shift towards online retailing and facilitating this through mobile devices is key in today’s marketplace.


If your store already has an online shopping presence, and are looking to bring more convenience to your customers and expand without having to open new locations, Dana iQVirtual Stores™ are a fantastic and cost effective way to connect with customers outside of the store.

Virtual Store


Placing Dana iQVirtual Stores™ in high traffic areas are a great way to reach more customers, in a new and unconventional way.

How does it work?

We link dynamic QR codes to an array of products of your choice, design and print the poster to reflect your store’s branding, and you now have a way for your customers to shop on the go! Dana iQVirtual Stores™ work best with stores who offer home delivery, or in-store pickup.


  • No overhead costs
  • Increases brand awareness
  • Increase traffic to website/app
  • Reach more customers

When people are standing around waiting, 95% of people are looking down at their phones anyway, so place a virtual store in bus stations, sports arenas, airports, and get them shopping at your store!

Contact us today to get more information on Dana iQVirtual Stores™.


Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Annual Retail Trade Survey, and administrative records (

Canadian Retailer, Spring 2015

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