Just over two-thirds of Canadian retailers are using social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach their customers and increase sales, says a retail report.

A report by the Retail Council of Canada says 68 per cent of mid-to-large-sized businesses survey were using social media.

“I would say the opportunity for that percentage to go up is great,” said Andrew Siegwart, vice-president of membership services for the retail council.

Retailers were using social networking sites for promotional purposes and customer insight, but also to talk to consumers about products or trends, Siegwart said yesterday.

“I am really seeing that kind of dialoguing happening.”

Siegwart noted that retailers have been using reward programs to build customer loyalty and using social media is another way to do that.

The Retail Technology in Canada report also found that 65 per cent of Canadian retailers had an e-commerce site, but the websites generated less than five per cent of total sales.

The survey found that most mid-to-large sized retailers plan to have an e-commerce site in the next five years.

Siegwart said Canadians tend to do product research, window shopping and price comparisons online, rather than buying.

“They just tend to make those purchases in stores,” he said from Toronto.

The Retail Council of Canada report also suggested businesses were also looking at how to use mobile phones to reach their customers, and just a handful of retailers surveyed said they use mobile technology.

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