It’s no secret that Canadian consumers enjoy online shopping. So, it remains a mystery why so many Canadian merchants aren’t selling their products via their websites. According to Rebecca McKillican in The Globe and Mail last week, “Canada’s independent retailers remained noticeably absent from the world of e-commerce.” She cites a 2015 Canada Post study that found that 76 percent of Canadians shopped online in 2014. Nevertheless, only 13 percent of Canadian businesses sell their products online. This, according to a 2013 Statistics Canada report, she points out.
So where are Canadians making all of their online purchases from? Large retailers that are based in the United States, it seems, are reaping the benefits of Canada’s love for online shopping. It simply doesn’t make sense that more Canadian merchants aren’t utilizing the internet to grow their businesses.
What makes e-commerce so popular among Canadians? McKillican believes that the sheer size of Canada makes it the ideal place for online shopping. Our country is, after all, the second largest land mass on the planet. As a result, “geography becomes an impediment,” she writes, “Even in urban centres where retail options abound, consumers are often discouraged from trekking to stores by oppressive traffic and inadequate public-transit infrastructure.”
McKillican does admit, however, that investing in e-commerce means that you are accepting to join in on some fierce competition. Major players like Amazon and Wal-Mart have a stronghold on the market. However, “e-tailing” can work, she believes, “with the right approach and focus on the experience for Canadians.” She adds that there are numerous benefits to becoming an “e-tailer”.
What are some benefits of investing in e-commerce? As soon as you begin to sell your products online, your brand automatically gets viewed in higher regard. It helps to align your business alongside the big names that can always be found on the internet. Secondly, it helps for retailers to provide clear-cut information about their products in efforts to educate the public in ways that personal store visits don’t always allow for.
“E-tailers are held to a higher standard,” writes McKillican, “Despite the virtual experience of online shopping, consumers expect personalization, with best-in-class service and greater transparency on product and price than they typically would at physical stores.” She goes on to note that unlike traditional flyers, e-commerce enables merchants to personalize their products via emails.
“‘One size fits all’ marketing doesn’t work,” she insists, “Traditional retailers send out one mass flyer a week. E-commerce requires personalized marketing e-mails sent at a frequency and volume determined by individual customers, regular marketing and merchandising updates, as well as the constant evolution (and cost) of search-engine optimization and marketing, not to mention managing content on affiliate sites.”
How can you begin to take advantage of Canada’s love for online shopping? At Canadian POS Corporation, we give Canadian business owners the opportunity to utilize our e-commerce solution so that they can securely accept credit cards online. For more information about getting your online store up and running, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-748-2884 or email us at info@localhost.