Canadian E-commerce – We Suck

Can someone please tell me why Canada is so far behind the United States in our e-commerce initiative(s)? 

Anybody who lives in Canada and likes to shop online knows exactly what I’m talking about.  The search for most products online results in mostly American companies who don’t even ship to Canada.  Even buying from the famed Zappos is a royal pain in the bumpkis due to the USD to CAD conversion and shipping & duty.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great online Canadian shopping destinations, see well.ca and shopdetails.ca.  I just feel that Canadian businesses aren’t jumping on board fast enough.  E-commerce is a growing industry, and a YOUNG industry.  More and more people are shopping online each year, even Canadians.  Perhaps retailers in Canada are slow to go online because of reports like this one

“In Canada, the lower satisfactions levels may be a function of the limited Canadian offering relative to the plethora of sophisticated online retailers south of the border.”

– J.C. Williams Group

But, perhaps Canadian shoppers would find more satisfaction in their online shopping experiences if more of Canada’s great retail stores were online?  Seems like we’re caught in a chicken or the egg situation.  Retailers are slow to go online because they think there are no online Canadian shoppers.  Canadian shoppers are unhappy with their online shopping experience because all the find is American stores who may or may not ship to Canada and may or may not charge an arm and a leg to do so.

Canadian businesses.  If you want my opinion (even if you don’t here it is) on growth strategies, GET ONLINE!  Coming from a retail family I know first hand the costs involved with opening a physical store front.  I also know first hand from the clients I work with that the cost to go online is a fraction of what you are used to paying for physical presence (and marketing).

If you already have a business with a physical store front (or some other local presence) there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be getting online in some capacity or another.  Start blogging, start engaging with your customers.  Build a brand and tap into the national potential of your business, not just the local.

And, if you need e-commerce web design & development services I’m sure I know somebody who is willing to help (couldn’t help a little self promotion).