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Canadians Falling Behind in E-Commerce

May 3, 2012

A study commissioned by Google recently turned up some interesting numbers in regards to Canadian e-commerce, particularly in relation to other G20 countries.

While Canadians are very active Internet users (we are in the top quartile of social media users and online advertisers in the G20), e-commerce only makes up for 3% of our overall GDP, compared with an average of 4.1% within the G20. And this gap is only set to widen over the next few years.

According to the study, Canadians tend to research prospective purchases online, but purchase them offline. It was noted that some of this behaviour might be a result of international online retailers not shipping to Canada.

E-commerce is only growing, so it’s important that businesses wrap their heads around it now, before it becomes more advanced. What are you doing to make online shopping an inviting experience for your customers? As we previously reported, there are a number of ways to engage your online customers. Your customers might be hesitant to begin shopping online, so it’s important to offer incentives, or at the very least, not add deterrents (excessive shipping fees and limited shipping options, among other items).

Canadians tend to research prospective purchases online, but purchase them offline.

Canadians are some of the most active web-users, so there’s obviously something amiss when they’re hesitating to include shopping in their online activities. This points to an issue with the industry, not the consumer. It’s up to businesses to be progressive and keep ahead of the technology their consumers are already engaged in, rather than catching up a few years later.

So the question is, are Canadian businesses failing to understand how to keep up with their online consumers, or are they just lacking the tools to effectively serve them? Whatever you feel the answer is, it is worth your time to research e-commerce options that best fit your company and, more importantly, your customer.

What are you doing to make sure your customers have the access to the tools they needs to carry out business in a way that suits them? If you’d like to talk about ways you can improve the online side of your business, give us a call at (780) 989 0606 or email us at

Photo credit: flickr