In our last blog, we revisited the concept of online shopping and pointed out how important it will be for Canadian retailers to get on board with this trend in 2016. As we pointed out, online shopping continues to grow in popularity in Canada, and experts say that establishing mobile apps is a must on any business owner’s to-do list. However, it would appear as if there aren’t enough Canadian business owners who have come to recognize the importance of adopting an e-commerce solution.
Mary Teresa Bitti of Financial Post writes that “there appears to be a disconnect between consumers and businesses in Canada when it comes to e-commerce uptake, according to the results of a survey by Business Development Bank of Canada.” Revealing this back in May of 2015, Bitti unveils that there is a big difference between the number of Canadians who shop online and the number of Canadian retailers who offer shoppers the opportunity to do so.
“More than half (56 per cent) of respondents to the survey said they shop online while 77 per cent research potential purchases online before buying,” reveals Bitti, “Yet, only 12 per cent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses sell online, down from 18 per cent in 2013. Meanwhile, the value of Canadian online purchases is projected to hit $34 billion by 2016, up from $18.9 billion in 2012, MasterCard’s Digital Evolution Index shows.”
She goes on to point out that the “big players”, such as Walmart, are greatly benefitting from offering e-commerce solutions to their customers. Bitti also highlights the fact that one of the biggest benefits that arise from a company’s online store is the ability to sell products to foreign markets. According to Mississauga, Ontario’s Robin Smith, who is the co-founder of Virtual Logistics, Canadian business owners should adopt some best practices for creating an effective e-commerce strategy.
Define what your brand represents and how you want to interact online. “You must establish trust,” insists Smith, “What is unique about your brand experience? This is all about customer interaction.” Keep in mind that your website needs to be interactive. It should contain a blog that continually highlights your expertise in your field. This helps to establish trust and confidence in your brand.
Map out the supply chain with the focus being on how data moves and what data is required to satisfy the brand experience you want to create. According to Smith, “this is becoming a bigger challenge for companies as their supply chains become more complex because they are selling via several channels — their own website, Amazon, Shop.ca — and each one has a different experience and way of interacting.”
Plan for scalability. “E-commerce requires continuous investment and freshness,” says Smith, “This costs money and time. If you have unique products you will be approached by major retailers. They will present different challenges so ensure the systems and companies you engage with have the skill and knowledge to handle those differing demands.” He also insists that you invest in technology that can grow with you.
At Canadian POS Corporation, we couldn’t agree more. Contact us to learn more about how investing in our e-commerce solution will help to grow your business. Give us a call at 1-877-748-2884 or email us at info@localhost.