According to eMarketer, e-commerce sales in Canada reached nearly $23 billion dollars in 2014. For the last few years Canadians have been spending more money through e-commerce retailers. Canadian Business reported in 2014 that two-thirds of Canadian online purchases are made through American companies. Because the e-commerce market is heating up in Canada, there are many American e-retailers who would like to get into the market.
Market specifically to Canadians
When moving into the Canadian e-commerce market, it's best to market directly to the Canadian market. Remember that a portion of the Canadian market speaks French – around 10 million people, according to the Canadian government – so including a way to switch the site's text to that language will enhance the customer experience. Also, consider offering several shipping options, or, if possible, free shipping. According to Hanover Research, a global information services firm, it is more expensive to have goods shipped in Canada than it is in the U.S. That fact may sway some buyers to purchase from a brick-and-mortar store.
Provide Canadian payment options
While many shoppers in Canada will make e-commerce payments with major credit cards and debit cards, it can be a good idea to optimize e-commerce sites for Canadian currency and provide additional payment options. Direct debit, or pre-authorized debit as it's known in Canada, is a popular option and should be offered. Direct debit can be extremely useful if an e-commerce site is subscription based because authorizing automatic reoccurring payments streamlines the payment process. Automatic Clearing House payments, or ACH payments, are also a good option to offer if the site is one that focuses on collecting regularly reoccurring payments. Transaction fees associated with direct debit and ACH payments are markedly cheaper than credit or debit card payments and are extremely secure.
Provide seamless buying experience
According to Demac Media, a ecommerce marketing firm, nearly 78 percent of Canadians have access to the Internet. All of those people accessing the Internet are potential e-commerce shoppers, although, Canadians are currently less likely to make online purchases. Companies of all sizes and in various industries can accelerate business by focusing on the Canadian market. Demac Media encourages e-retailers to focus on the customer experience to entice new shoppers to purchase their goods. By providing a seamless buying experience and making it easy to purchase, online retailers have a better chance of making sales in Canada.
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