When it comes to eCommerce, Canadian businesses face unique challenges that are not present in the United States or other developed nations. Here’s how to overcome three common eCommerce roadblocks in Canada.
1. Stopping the southern flow of cash.
The biggest eCommerce problem in Canada is not unique to eCommerce at all. Canadian money has a troubling habit of ending up in American hands. While not a problem in and of itself, when it starts pushing Canadian businesses to the margins of profitability, it is a problem. In traditional business, we’ve seen this trend in the purchasing of Canadian companies and brands by American corporations. But with eCommerce, Americans can bypass that middle step and sell directly to Canadian customers. How can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) compete online with giant American companies?
Part of the answer is in how any small business competes against larger ones. You must make your brand unique. Make your online experience special. Most of all, create your experience Canadian. Given the option, Canadians prefer to give their business to Canadian companies, so having a .ca domain can help.
2. The problem is not one of access. It’s a lack of motivation.
Canadian businesses have traditionally been strangely apathetic towards eCommerce. Only 7% of retail transactions occurred online in Canada in 2018. There’s not a definite cause for this. Canada routinely ranks among the highest for internet access in the world. The infrastructure is there for Canadian businesses to establish a robust online presence. This is not to say it’s easy, but the real roadblock here seems to be one of motivation. If you own an SME and have not yet established an online presence, do it now. The coronavirus pandemic has more-or-less forced the hand of many Canadian SMEs to get their eCommerce game going. This is one effect of the pandemic that can have long term positive consequences.
3. Staying safe online isn’t always easy. Many Canadian SMEs have cybersecurity concerns.
If the biggest problem is motivation, how do we reconcile this with the profit increases on offer with an effective eCommerce strategy? A report by the Business Development Bank of Canada found that only 15% of respondents cited cost as a roadblock to engaging in eCommerce. Another 25% and 24% cited lack of internet savvy and the trouble of finding and retaining talent. However, a plurality of respondents (32%) listed cybersecurity as the primary concern.
These top three concerns all have a common solution: finding the right people to help you. EXIMA can help. From providing SMEs with a network of experts to our informative forum, we help Canadian SMEs establish a strong—and safe—eCommerce presence.