This Week in eCommerce:
March 3 – 7

Another week filled with trending topics from around the world of eCommerce. This week, Staples announced 225 store closures for its Canada and U.S markets. The increasing numbers of off the shelf eCommerce tools make it easy for aspiring entrepreneurs to lunch their businesses online. However, large retailers like Amazon, are setting standards and customer expectations high. Can smaller retailers keep up? Find out why cross-boarder online shopping is popular among Canadians?

Canadian eCommerce and Cross-boarder Shopping

Article: How Canadian is Canadian eCommerce?
Source: eMarketer

Canadian Business-to-consumer sales are expected to reach $36.77 billion this year, including $25.37 billion in retail eCommerce spending. However other research suggests, Canadian online sales could surpass these estimates. A recent study by J.C. Williams Group, revealed cross boarder shopping was popular among Canadians. 55% of total digital shopping came from Canadian companies, 33% went to purchases in the U.S and the remainder in Asia and Europe. Why is cross-boarder shopping so popular among Canadians? 41% cited cheaper prices as the number one reason for cross-boarder purchases.

3 Challenges for Small eCommerce Retailers

Article: 3 Big Challenges for Small eCommerce Retailers (and how to overcome them)
Source: Business News Daily

The increasing number of off the shelf eCommerce tools is making it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their businesses online. However, large retailers like Amazon, are setting the standards and customer expectations high in shipping and customer service making it difficult for online startups or small eCommerce businesses to compete. Three of the most common challenges online retailers face are shipping, international expansion and payment fraud.

Apple released iBeacon Specifications

Article: Apple Releases iBeacon Specifications Under Nondisclosure Agreement
Source: Techcrunch

This week, Apple released iBeacon Specifications to members of the MFi program under a nondisclosure agreement. iBeacon is an indoor positioning system based on low energy Bluetooth. For retailers, iBeacon brings about a whole multitude of opportunities in information gathering and customer interaction. Merchants can send push notifications to smartphone users as they approach a product, or use it to detect who has entered their store. The iBeacon will likely be popular among B2B users, shop owners and trade show staff.

Digital Disruption in Staples as Customers Look for Alternatives Online

Article: Staples Closes Up to 225 Stores in U.S and Canada as it Bleeds Customers to Mass-Market Rivals
Source: Financial Post

Digital disruption is being recognized by many brick-and-mortar merchants as Staples announces plans to close 12% of its North American stores. 225 stores are set for the chopping block as the company forecasts sales decline due to customer losses. Customers are looking for cheaper alternatives offered by discount retailers like Wal-Mart and online retailers like Amazon. The Staples customer is changing, using less office supplies and shopping more online. An attempt to shift the the company’s product mix to include new categories such as business technologies, and break room supplies and diversified items sold online, could help the company’s future.